After a busy start to the NFL offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their sights set on Super Bowl LVII next February. They have a long road to travel before they even get there, but a free-agent signing on Tuesday has helped ensure that said path is as smooth as can be.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Buccaneers have signed defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to a one-year deal with "up to $10 million" in incentives. It isn't the first time that the former Pro-Bowler has played in the NFC South, having spent the first three-and-a-half seasons with the rival New Orleans Saints.
Akiem Hicks Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers News
Hicks spent the last six seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he earned his only Pro Bowl appearance in 2018. He's coming off an injury-marred 2021 NFL campaign that saw him record 25 tackles, nine quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks in nine games.
The 32-year-old veteran also has a history with Tom Brady, making him the latest 'TB12' friend to join the fold. The Saints traded Hicks to the New England Patriots during the 2015 season and help his new team at the time make it all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
Hicks' signing certainly puts Tampa Bay's defense over the top. In addition to him, the Buccaneers will also be rostering the likes of Lavonte David, Devin White, Shaq Barrett, Vita Vea and more. Needless to say, opposing offenses will have their hands full.
Buccaneers Super Bowl Odds
Assuming Hicks can stay healthy and doesn't regress, his presence will help the Buccaneers in their championship quest. FanDuel Sportsbook is currently giving Tampa Bay +750 odds to win Super Bowl LVII, putting only behind the Buffalo Bills (+650).
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