The New England Patriots’ top unrestricted free agent won’t return in 2016.
Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Chicago Bears, the team announced Sunday night.
The Patriots acquired Hicks in October from the New Orleans Saints in a trade for tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. Hicks had 21 tackles with three sacks in 13 games with the Patriots in 2015. He served as a rotational defensive tackle, rushing the passer on third down after Dominique Easley went on season-ending injured reserve.
The Patriots are left with Easley, Malcom Brown, Alan Branch, Chris Jones, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Joe Vellano and recently-acquired Frank Kearse at defensive tackle. They could address the position in the 2016 NFL Draft or sign another free agent.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Dec 20, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Akiem Hicks (72) reacts after recovering a fumble and returning for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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