Bold Prediction, Rave Review For Akiem Hicks

July 28th, 2022

Bucs boss weighs in.

Yeah, it’s great fun to talk — and fantasize — about the Tampa Bay offense with newcomers Kyle Rudolph and Julio Jones. But Joe is more curious about the manbeast acquisition to replace Ndamukong Suh.

So Joe asked Bucs GM Jason Licht about Hicks.

The 32-year-old former Pro Bowl defensive tackle rolls at about 6-4, 335 pounds. When he’s healthy, he’s known as an elite talent that is a true difference-maker.

But he’s been banged up and has missed 20 regular season games over the past three years. And he sort of quit on the Bears in January, though what happened is unclear and Chicago soon after fired its coach and purged the roster.

Licht was very fired up about Hicks.

“Yeah, he had some unfortunate injuries last year that ended his season early, but he’s healthy now. And he he has come in, he’s a big man, he’s very athletic, very powerful,” Licht began. “He’s got very good quickness for his size, and he’s been a great addition to that room. He’s a veteran leader, very mature guy. And everybody’s been very high on him since he’s been here. I think he’s going to have a hell of a year.”

There are many “ifs” on every NFL roster this time of year. But the Bucs may have no bigger “if” than Hicks, certainly defensively. If the Pro Bowl version of Hicks shows up alongside Vita Vea, the entire defense will change for the better.

25 Responses to “Bold Prediction, Rave Review For Akiem Hicks”

  1. WillieG Says:

    Licht sure does like the scratch and dent sales. And he’s usually successful with them.

  2. D-Rok Says:

    Maybe Hicks can go both ways and also be a manbeast center? (sarcasm).

  3. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Hicks is a monster of a Man, and IMHO a real upgrade from Suh.
    That is, IF he can stay healthy!
    Him and Vita Vea will provide pass rush up the middle, plus he is great against the run as well.
    Yes, I liked Suh, but he grossly overvalued his services, forcing us to move on.

  4. PassingThru Says:

    I hate to denigrate Suh, he was productive up to two seasons ago. Signing Akiem Hicks was the best possible move this summer, it is a definite upgrade from Suh. The only questions is whether Hicks can stay healthy.

  5. mark2001 Says:

    Tried to tell some of you guys. If this guy is healthy, he is definitely a difference maker.

  6. Bobojango Says:

    Our GM definitely has roots in NE. I remember thinking they(NE) always signed older vets the rest of the league gave up on. It usually worked . Now Jason doing it down here.

  7. GOB Says:

    Does anyone really blame Hicks? The bear have been a joke of an organization for decades now. Why would you go out on a limb and play hurt for that collection of numb nuts. Hicks will surprise many bucs fans. He is the definition of a disruptive tackle. I have no illusions of him playing 17 games and 700 snaps, but he doesn’t need to in order to be effective.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    GOB … ‘Does anyone really blame Hicks? ‘

    Are you asking if it’s OK to quit on the team that you signed a contract with, in his case for a very sizable chunk of change, because they’re doing poorly? Isn’t that kinda moving into Swaggy Baker territory GOB? You know, collect the money, give meh performances, and high-tail it out of town after that.

    No one can fault Hicks for the injuries; that’s part of life in the NFL & he didn’t have any control over that. But quitting on your team? He did have control over THAT. He’s a Buc now, and I’m REALLY hoping that he stays healthy & plays well for us this year. But IMO, sorry but there’s never any excuse for quitting on your team.

  9. Buc4evr Says:

    Hope Jason can still sign Suh. Hicks is injury prone as is Vea. Suh may have lost a step, but he is available on every single play. Jason needs to find a way to bring Suh back….

  10. GOB Says:

    Defense, quitting on your team, and not willing to play injured and risk your career, are two different things in my estimation. I suspect many players that are hurt and can play, don’t when the season is lost. Couple that with the fact that the Bears coaching staff has been a tire fire for most of Hicks time with them, no I don’t blame him a bit for shutting it down.

  11. GOB Says:

    Defense, we all know where this is coming from. You’re still mad they didn’t pay Suh 7 million to have a middle of the pack PFF grade. That train has sailed my friend. Give Hicks a chance. I believe he’ll blow Suh’s production out of the water. No he’s not going to play 700 snaps, but simply because Suh played a ton, doesn’t mean he was productive.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    GOB … I’m impressed that you can read my mind, especially since I often have trouble deciphering what it’s trying to tell me. Personally I could care less what they pay Suh, whether it’s $1 mil or $10 mil; not my job.

    And in regards to Hicks, I root for the Bucs, period. As I said earlier, ‘He’s a Buc now, and I’m REALLY hoping that he stays healthy & plays well for us this year.’ His being on the team has nothing to do with Suh not being here to me. What I am concerned about is defensive DEPTH, because if last season is any indication at all, we won’t be winning any Super Bowls without better DEPTH on the defensive side. Getting by the Rams in our Conference will be tough enough, but then we’ll have to contend with the best of some pretty good teams in the AFC to grab the ring. Offense alone won’t cut it.

  13. Ash Says:

    I’m super hyped for this season think the entire team knows this might be it for tom going to elevate everyone’s play not concerned about the depth the way some people seem to be. Really feel this is the bucs year excited about hicks think he is going to show out along with Julio let’s freaking go.

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I think defensive coordinators are scared to death to plan against Hicks and Vita. Not only are they going to stop the run but they are going to collapse the pocket.

  15. 813bucboi Says:


    Joe says, If the Pro Bowl version of Hicks shows up alongside Vita Vea, the entire defense will change for the better.

    Still sure they won’t be on the field together lol


  16. GOB Says:

    Defense, the reason Suh doesn’t have a job, is because nobody is stupid enough to pay him what he’s asking. You know how this works. Teams aren’t in the business of overpaying players. I’ve said this multiple times. If Suh would come back for what he’s worth, (3-4 million incentive laden deal) I’d take him back in a heartbeat. I couldn’t care less what they pay him too, it’s not my money. But, you know this is a business. I don’t believe in the myth of the salary cap, but why would any team pay more than a player is worth?

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    GOB … I say again, for the hundredth time, you don’t know what he’s asking. And I stand by my prediction that he’ll be a Buc this year, and that he’ll retire as a Buc after this year.

    And 813BucBoi, I really hope that someone keeps track of the number of def snaps when BOTH Hicks AND Vea are on the field together (I’ve never seen any stats like that, but who knows). Our defense will get roughly 1050-1075 def snaps this season if averages hold. I doubt that the two of them will be on the field TOGETHER for more than 20-25% of that, at most. That’d be roughly 200-250 def snaps, and since each of them has only been averaging about twice that, that’d leave a lot of snaps where NEITHER one of them is on the field. Doubtful. The wild card playing DLine with each one of them as of right now is Hall. Add Suh to the mix and we’ve got excellent depth AND flexibility.

  18. PassingThru Says:

    I don’t know, DR. Suh has always signed early as a free agent.

  19. T REX Says:

    Like Licht is going to badmouth himself



  20. geno711 Says:

    I don’t know about Suh but would note that he is unsigned and not retired so I got to think that the Bucs have as much a chance of signing him as any other team at this point.

    I would guess 25% chance that Suh resigns with the Bucs.

    For some reason, I do not feel the same about JPP. I think that JPP will not end up on the Buc’s this season. Maybe 5% chance. I think that injured AC joint is a non-starter for the Bucs.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    PassingThru … ‘I don’t know, DR. Suh has always signed early as a free agent.’

    True enough, but he has been with us for 3 years, knows the defense & players pretty well, and oh ya, is 35 years old. I still have this feeling that he’ll end up signing with the Bucs, not because of the money but because of the chance for another Super Bowl ring. The twins each need their own ring.

  22. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    Hicks is a massive wild card. Injury problems,

    SUH has NEVER, I repeat NEVER missed a game.

    How many people are willing to put money on the fact that HICKS will start every game?

    Your best ability is AVAILABILITY


    With that being said, it has to be SUH priced himself off of the Bucs, what the Bucs were willing to pay.

    But they bring an injury prone guy. Yes Hicks looks awesome, but if he is standing in the sideline alot again this year because of injury, and there is a High probability of that, no one would care what he looks like, or potential, the fans will just wish the Bucs signed someone else.

    I hope Hicks has a great season, and plays a high percentage of the defensive snaps. But we will see.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  23. steele Says:

    Hicks and Vea are injury-prone. Suh wants too much money. Not a stable situation for an entire long and extremely tough season. Sheldon Richardson is still out there.

  24. Goatfarmer Says:


    Velociraptor >> T-Rex

  25. Jeff Says:

    He plays 5 games tops this year. He’ll get hurt this weekend. Watch and see.