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3 Most Likely Trade Destinations for Akiem Hicks

By michael obermuller
The three most likely teams to trade for defensive end Akiem Hicks.
The three most likely teams to trade for defensive end Akiem Hicks. / James Gilbert/Getty Images

In another surprising move, the Chicago Bears have now informed star defensive end Akiem Hicks that he is free to pursue a trade. The former second-team All-Pro has a $12 million cap hit in 2021, and the Bears could clear $10.5 million in cap space if they are able to move him.

Here are the three franchises that make the most sense as possible trade destinations.

3. Carolina Panthers

If the Carolina Panthers don't land Deshaun Watson, they'll have some cap to play around with in other areas. They could solve their inexperience on the defensive line by trading for Hicks, who'd start alongside 2020 first-round pick Derrick Brown as a positive mentor. The Panthers have seemed to have a more aggressive nature in Matt Rhule's second offseason with the franchise, so this move could signal to fans that they expect to be a contender in 2021.

2. Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans have already made some major changes on defense this offseason. They released Adoree' Jackson, Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Butler, signed Bud Dupree and Janoris Jenkins, and may move on from free agents DaQuan Jones and Jadeveon Clowney. An easy replacement and possible upgrade for Clowney's run-stuffing ability would be Hicks, who could help with this problem at defensive end. The Titans ranked 24th against the run in 2020, giving up 127.6 yards per game.

1. Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency, and are unlikely to re-sign Olivier Vernon, so there are some holes to fill on this defensive line. Coming from a 3-4 in Chicago, it's unclear if Hicks would prefer to line up inside or on the end of a 4-3 formation, but Cleveland could use his talents either way. Hicks had 3.5 sacks and 49 total tackles last season, and the Browns currently have enough cap space to afford him in a win-now move for a franchise that has waited a long time for a championship.

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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.