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Akiem Hicks’ one-year deal with Bucs is worth $6.5 million plus incentives

A breakdown of his contract reveals some injury protection for the team and a possible savings.
Then-Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (96) pressures then-Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during a 2018 game in Chicago.
Then-Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (96) pressures then-Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during a 2018 game in Chicago. [ DAVID BANKS | AP ]
Published Jun. 1|Updated Jun. 1

TAMPA ― At 32, Akiem Hicks is three years younger than Ndamukong Suh and potentially a less expensive option at defensive tackle.

The Bears free agent signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal worth as much as $10 million. But a further breakdown of Hicks’ contract with the Bucs reveals some injury protection for the team and a possible savings.

Hicks played in only five games in 2019 and nine in 2021 due to injuries with the Bears.

Aside from a two-game suspension (for stomping on the arm of Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith) in 2011, Suh has not missed a regular-season game in his career. However, he averaged about $9 million per year during his three seasons with the Bucs.

Hicks’ one-year contract is worth $6.5 million, plus another $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses. So he could earn $8 million if he plays a full season, plus another $2 million in bonuses. He will earn $250,000 for each playoff win, another $500,000 for being named to the Pro Bowl and $500,000 if he is first-team All Pro.

With four voidable years, the Bucs lowered Hicks’ 2022 salary-cap value to $2.39 million. That helps, considering the Bucs have $6.8 million in dead money on the salary cap this season for Suh, according to Spotrac.

The Bucs wanted to get younger at defensive tackle and used their first draft pick (33rd overall) on Houston’s Logan Hall.

Hicks will allow the Bucs to develop Hall into the eventual starter while giving them a Pro Bowl talent to play alongside Vita Vea.

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