Tampa Bay Buccaneers: NFL pundits left in awe as Akiem Hicks signs 1-year deal

Chicago Bears DL Akiem Hicks

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have bolstered up their defensive ranks with the addition of Akiem Hicks, and people can’t get enough of it.

There is a lot of change going on within the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organisation this past offseason, most notably within the coaching room with former head coach Bruce Arians moving upstairs to become Senior Consultant, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles making the move from defensive coordinator to head coach.

And that’s all before you get to the ‘will he, won’t he?’ back and forth that was Tom Brady’s retirement and then unretirement.

Add to that a number of players departing such as Ndamukong Suh, Richard Sherman and Rob Gronkowski and this Buccaneers team is set to be vastly different than the one that took the field in 2021, a far cry from last offseason where all of their Super Bowl starters were in position to return.

Hopefully not too much change

Whilst they have been guided by the great Tom Brady for the past few years at quarterback, one thing that can’t be overlooked is the defenses that were incredibly dominant on the other side of the ball. 

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They have ranked in the top ten in the past three seasons in terms of sacks, with the likes of Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea making themselves a hassle for opposing offensive lines, with their most notable performance coming in the Super Bowl where they kept Patrick Mahomes out of the endzone:

Next man up

They’ll be hoping their defence can help guide them through once again this year, and to do that they have reached out to veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to help them out.

The 32-year-old has recently come off a 6-year stint with the Chicago Bears where he put in 31 sacks, 247 combined tackles, 51 tackles for loss and 81 QB hits. So when it comes to imposing figures on defence, he can certainly pick up where Suh left off from.

His signing was announced this afternoon and it’s fair to say that there are plenty around the league who are very excited to see it take place:

Now it’s just a case of making sure he lives up to expectations, because Tampa’s Super Bowl chances might end up riding on him.

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