Bears DT Akiem Hicks silent as agent reportedly pushes for contract extension
Hicks has been the heart of the Bears’ defense since 2016, but he’s in the final year of his contract, and there has been no traction toward a new deal.
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was at practice Thursday and has been looking for a contract extension.
“Akiem wants to finish his career with the Bears,” Rosenhaus told ESPN, “if possible.”
Hicks is in the last season of a four-year, $48 million deal and has been worth every penny. The question for general manager Ryan Pace is what his value would be in 2022 and beyond given that he’ll be 32 at the start of next season and the Bears have talented, young defensive linemen Eddie Goldman and Bilal Nichols. They also drafted Khyiris Tonga in the seventh round, and he already is getting first-team snaps while Goldman is on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The heart of the Bears’ defense and an elite defensive tackle since arriving in 2016, Hicks has 27œ sacks, five forced fumbles and 222 tackles.
He reportedly wanted out of Chicago in the offseason with no traction on a long-term deal and the team making cost-cutting moves to get out of its salary-cap problems.
Hicks has refused to speak to the media since training camp began.
Welcome back, Adam Shaheen.
No, not really.
Shaheen, one of the Bears’ biggest draft disappointments in recent memory, has latched on as a tight end with the Dolphins. That meant he was going head-to-head against Khalil Mack in one-on-one drills at the start of practice Thursday morning, and they clashed after Mack knocked Shaheen down.
“That’s just guys talking,” Shaheen said. “That’s gonna happen. It wasn’t just me. It wasn’t just [Mack]. It was back and forth, nothing crazy.”
Shaheen got some payback during 11-on-11 red-zone work when he caught a touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa. He started toward the goalpost like he was going to dunk the ball but reconsidered and trotted back to the huddle.
“My feet got tangled up, and I thought, ‘You know what, I might as well just run this one back,’ ” he said. “That’s why I didn’t even jump.”
The friction continued in the one-on-one drills as Dolphins tight end Cethan Carter scrapped with Bears outside linebacker Trevis Gipson, and eventually the coaches disbanded the drill early.
There also was a brief skirmish after Dolphins safety Eric Rowe dropped Bears tight end Cole Kmet after a catch, but otherwise the teams got along mostly peacefully for two days.
Elijah Wilkinson, the presumptive left tackle until Teven Jenkins returns from a back injury, said going on the reserve/COVID-19 list didn’t sway his opinion on vaccination.
Wilkinson went on the list as a close contact to Goldman — an NFL policy that applies only to unvaccinated players.
“Just knowing that it’s out of my control, you know, was really the most frustrating part,” Wilkinson said of being sidelined. “Wasn’t really anything I could do about it.
“It’s everybody’s personal choice. . . . I don’t think it made me think any different about my stance.”
Offensive lineman Alex Bars exited practice with a knee injury.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson returned to practice after a hamstring injury kept him out Wednesday. Fellow receiver Marquise Goodwin came back from a bruised foot.