Buccaneers Want To Re-Sign Akiem Hicks

March 28th, 2023


UPDATED 12:20 p.m. – One of the free agent disappointments of last season, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, is a target of the Bucs in free agency.

Hicks had a one-year contract last season for about $8 million. He was hurt with a foot issue and missed six games. Hicks, 33, recorded one sack and the Bucs fared rather well when he and Vita Vea played together.

Todd Bowles said today at the NFL Annual Meeting that Hicks is “out there somewhere” while discussing potential Bucs free agents. Joe followed up and Bowles said he and Hicks have stayed in touch and the team does want him back, if it works, presumably financially.

What a wild card massive Hicks would be if he were willing to come back on a rock-bottom contract with a bunch of incentives.

“I thought he performed well. I thought he fit in great. Him and Vita [Vea] are a very good force in there,” Bowles said.

The draft this season is not rich in defensive tackle talent.

36 Responses to “Buccaneers Want To Re-Sign Akiem Hicks”

  1. Mike Johnson Says:

    Hicks did flash in a couple of games he played in when..he was healthy. I would not give him more than 2 mil a yr if that.

  2. sasquatch Says:

    #1 ability is availability. I would not be very excited about re-signing this guy for anything more than vet minimum with incentives.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Would rather sign Gholston or Suh


    Overpaid and underperformed

  5. Rob Hamada Says:

    Sign him to a one year 2 million guaranteed with incentives where he can make up to 6-7 million.

  6. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Veteran minimum or no thanks.

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Rob

    That sounds about right to me…

    Plus we owe Hicks @ $5M in dead cap money – hopefully most of this money could be pushed into 2024 and will give the Bucs a little more cap space to operate with.

  8. FortMyersDave Says:

    Man, I would be weary of signing this guy again. He basically fleeced the Bucs last year for $ 8 million as he was injured for most of the season. If he could start next to Vea and contribute solidly, yeah it would be a win for Licht and Bowels but given Hick’s track record last year and age, does anyone really think that’s going to happen?

    I guess the Bucs could take a flyer on him like he was an old K-Mart Blue Light Special: vet minimum and incentives for actually putting some numbers up on the field. Anyhow, if anyone besides Bowels and his dudes thought this guy had anything left in the tank you would think someone else with cap space might have took a chance on him.

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’m with TBBF. Suh, or Gholston. Or both. Hicks? Why?

  10. garro Says:

    They really should resign Hicks! His run stuffing ability was sorely missed last year when he was out. Even though he was not a sack king he was a presence in the middle!
    Big benefit is also to free us from having to draft DT early in the draft.

  11. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Dude can’t stay healthy

  12. mark2001 Says:

    If Todd wants him, Id say yes. I want Todd to have his guys this year. with no reasons or excuses for him not having a competitive team this year. And if we don’t, it is all on Bowles.

  13. Tony W. Says:

    That would be foolish to bring him back dead weight either bring Sue back or go Young ( Draft ) 2- young guys..

  14. Cardiac kidz Says:

    Suh and or Gholston. They show up every game day. I think Hicks missed more games in 2022 than Suh and Gholston missed combined over the past 2 seasons.
    Hicks pulled the same crap with the Bears. Paid full time wages and only plays part time.

  15. LOL Says:



    Maybe at the vet Minimum. Not anything about 4 mil though

  16. Steven007 Says:

    The signing of Gaines makes this potential move make more sense. Hicks will be used rotationally if he were to return. That would save on the wear and tear which should help is availability. Obviously at a low cost if he were to return

  17. Dooley Says:

    I like the idea of Hicks more with Greg Gaines in the picture, kind of because we can still use him for his talents while relying on him less as a starter and more as apart of the rotation. Guess we’re still looking to fill the void with Nacho leaving, Gholston and Senat not being brought back…yet. Still got Mike Greene & Will Prevelion on the back end of the IDL depth chart.

    It’d be dope if Joe did a primer before OTAs to get us all exposed to and up to speed with players on the roster that were signed to futures contracts and/were practice squad guys we stashed away. Guys like Nolan Turner, Charles Snowden, Hamiclar Rashed jr, Anthony Chesley, Duron Lowe and a few other players who we may not know what their projected roles could be whether it be special teams or a rotational contributor.

  18. Voice of Truth Says:

    Was a huge fan of the signing but he was on the sideline way too much

    But hey, beggars can’t be choosy, he is definitely better than Hall

  19. Dooley Says:


    *Frank Lucas voice*
    My man lol

  20. HC Grover Says:

    We should play the Tampa Two defense. Out with Plan 9 in with a big DE-DT. Bowles Plan gives up over 20 a game. W/O Brady that is a big loser.

  21. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Hard pass. Licht is making another mistake if he signs this waste

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Injury prone is the biggest issue. If you knew you were getting someone healthy, then sure, but he’s been injury prone. Suh is not injury prone, and has a proven track record. Out of the two, assuming you’re paying for these guys and not getting a huge discount, I’d, obviously, much rather target Suh.

  23. sasquatch Says:

    Can we PLEASE find a space eating DT in the draft!?!? I mean, we keep churning through a bunch of journeyman types on one year deals every year. It’s getting ridiculous. Let’s hope Logan Hall adds some muscle and steps up in year 2… but still, let’s find some young guys for a change!

  24. JN Says:

    Cant stay healthy. We need young blood that can actually play a little DL… And I want Nolan Smith at 19 but I dont think he will be there.

  25. sasquatch Says:

    ^ Nolan Smith is an OLB, not a DL. Our greater need is the front 3. The big bodies.

  26. steele Says:

    They need to stop wasting money on the constantly injured. “Flashes” don’t make for a season of work. Stupid. Get someone else.

  27. Mike Says:

    The defense did play better when he was on the field, so if they can get him cheap, it would not be a bad decision.

  28. JN Says:

    sasquatch – we need more pass rushers… guys that can get home. Our top 2 in sacks was D White and Vita Vea. We need edge presence. HUGE weakness on this defense. And yes, we need better DL play and more depth. Just not a believer in Hicks… too old, too much $$$ and can’t help this defense from the training room. Would love to see 5 or 6 picks dedicated to OL, DL and edge.

  29. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Steven007

    I agree.

    If he signs a cheap deal and just be a rotational player it would probably work out pretty well for the Bucs.

    – Vea
    – Gains
    – Hicks
    – Hall
    – O’Conner

    Maybe add Gholston after the draft.

    That sounds like a pretty stout group to me…

  30. sasquatch Says:

    I’m talking about bodies. We’re short on capable bodies on the DL. We keep churning through these journeymen and 1 year plug-ins, and don’t develop anything. At least we’ve got a few at OLB who have logged significant snaps.

    Truth is, we need to get better at both positions and need to amp up the outside pass rush, no doubt.

    I’m not a Hicks guy. I want to draft OLB and DL.

  31. David Says:

    All for it if they can bring him back a few million cheaper. When him and VEA were together… teams could not run the ball. And VEA was able to get pressure. He was disappointing with the pass rush, but with a foot injury, not surprised.
    I guess we can’t expect him to stay healthy the whole year, so it has to be discounted.

  32. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Offer him $75 a game. That should cover his BK bill after the game.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod Munch … ‘Injury prone is the biggest issue. If you knew you were getting someone healthy, then sure, but he’s been injury prone. Suh is not injury prone, and has a proven track record.’

    I was totally in favor last season of re-signing Suh rather than Hicks, but alas the Bucs chose to do the opposite. This year though I’m not at all enthused about re-signing Suh, and would rather have either Hicks or Gholston (preferably both).

    Bowles knows that we don’t have the elite DEs/OLBs to get a great pass rush from outside. He’ll be looking to get more pass rush out of our interior guys, and I’m guessing that to do that we’ll see a LOT more 4-man fronts (that’s where hiring George Edwards with his 4-3 background starts to make sense?). To keep a reasonable rotation going & to allow for injuries, we’ll need more big guys than we had last year for sure.

    Thus far we’ve got Vea & Gaines. Hall & O/Connor may be OK as part-time DEs when we’re in a 4-man front, but neither excites me very much at this point. Thus adding 2 big guys seems to make sense … Hicks as one & Gholston as the other. Sign them both on minimum veteran contracts with incentives, and that’d allow us to slide their VOID year hits down the road somewhat (the biggest problem right now is 2023). Hicks’ Dead CAP this year is $4.9 mil & Gholston’s is $2.4 mil. We could probably sign BOTH for less than the combined $7.3 mil (plus incentives not due until 2024). IOW, pretty much for free.

    If you check out Hicks’ 2022 games, he missed 6 straight (Games 3-8). We went 1-5 in those games. In the 11 games he played in, Bucs went 7-4 (not counting the playoff loss to the Cowboys). Coincidence? Don’t believe in them.

    In the 11 games Hicks played in, Bucs defense allowed 99.7 yards per game rushing (average). In the 6 games he missed, we allowed 131.3 yards per game rushing. Somewhat significant difference, but it becomes a LOT more significant when you look at the games we won with Hicks in there … we only allowed 77 yards per game in those 7 wins with him in there. His presence appears to have had an impact IOW.

    Suh OTOH played in only 8 games last season, with 1 sack, 2 QB Hits, 0 TFLs & 10 tackles (4 solo). He gave the Eagles 176 def snaps in those 8 games (22 per game average). You gotta know when to hold ’em … and when to fold ’em.

  34. Ben Harvey Says:

    Age has caught up with him. He is a space eater now, nothing more which should drive down his price. Wonder if Poona Ford or Jordan Phillips will be targeted if Hicks doesnt sign

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – The only issue I have with Hicks is that I think he’s at the age where he’s just never going to be healthy, and I think it’s only going to get worse. I was only saying if the two options were Suh or Hicks, I’d rather have Suh, even if he has slipped a bit, as I think he’ll actually play a lot more snaps over the course of a full season. Also I like what Suh brings to the table, he gives the defense an attitude they were missing last year.

    As for the price, I assume Suh and Hicks would cost about the same, and it’s all being put on a credit card anyways, so the cap hit for this season would be the same.

    But I’d be fine with Hicks coming back. He’s always been productive when he’s healthy, it’s just the healthy part that is concerning at his age.

  36. donuts Says:

    15 tackles last year for $8MM…those numbers don’t add up. I would be a hard pass on him at 33/34.