The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed defensive tackle Akiem Hicks to a 1 year deal worth up to $10 million dollars. The deal has been made to replace Ndamukong Suh, who was on a $9 million dollar dear in 2021 where he recorded 6 sacks and 27 tackles in 17 games.
Hicks has been languishing in Chicago, where he hasn’t recorded more than 4 sacks in the last 3 years. His peak came in 2017 when he recorded 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. The Bucs are a good fit for the heavy-set DT as Tom Brady usually keeps the defense off the field for long periods of time. The Bucs are ranked 7th in the league in defensive time of possession, only asking 2 minutes and 39 seconds of their defense on average for every drive.
The Bucs run defense needs a big run-stopper in the middle, so this is a prudent signing. They aren’t an elite unit, but are very good in the red zone. They mostly benefit from a very low number of run attempts on them, due to the Bucs nearly always defending the lead. However they are middling in yards allowed per attempt, ranked 15th in the league.
Digging into the stats even further, Hicks had a very good 2020 season on an awful Bears team. He recorded 29 pressures, 16 QB knockdowns and only missed 3 tackles all season. The Bucs may have snagged a gem of a player here who is determined to make a late-career championship run.