On Saturday night the Tennessee Titans will host their final preseason game against Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. If they had it their way, the Titans might want to make sure that one player finds his way back to Nashville sooner rather than later.
It is no secret that veteran defensive lineman, Akiem Hicks, isn’t an untouchable player on the Chicago Bears roster. In fact, back in March, Brad Biggs reported that the team had given Hicks permission to seek a trade if he wanted one.
Since then it seems like Hicks and the team have gotten on better terms and there is no plan for a holdout/hold-in or anything like that. However, that hasn’t stopped people from continuing to speculate that Hicks would be playing somewhere else in 2021.
Two weeks ago, the Tennessee Titans probably wouldn’t have been a team that considered a trade for Hicks (well, not this Hicks but maybe a different one), but a lot has changed.
Since the start of camp, four real candidates to make the 53-man roster have had significant issues. Abry Jones retired from the NFL before taking a practice snap with the team, Trevon Coley was put on I.R. after the first preseason game, Kyle Peko was put on I.R. after the second preseason game, and Anthony Rush has been placed on the COVID-19 list.
All four were competing for the fifth spot on the defensive line, but now there are no clear answers on who should fill that role.
If the Chicago Bears were still trying to move on from Hicks (and that is a big if) he would be a perfect fit for what the Tennessee Titans need.
How could the Tennessee Titans use Akiem Hicks?
Hicks is massive, but when you combine that size with his athleticism and technique you end up with a player who could rotate in and replace Jeffery Simmons, Teair Tart, or Denico Autry. He has that type of talent and instead of a starting trio, the Titans could play mix and match with their defensive line based on the weakness of the opposing offensive line.
The Tennessee Titans probably wouldn’t be jumping over the moon to trade another top-100 pick, especially for a 32-year-old defensive tackle. However, the Bears have a pretty horrendous group of cornerbacks according to Mike Clay’s projections.
Maybe a deal can be done centered around someone like Breon Borders and a pick or the Bears could go after Kristian Fulton and give up a pick to make it worth the Titans’ time. The fact is, the Titans are deep at cornerback and the Bears need help there and the Titans could use a player like Hicks to turn their defensive line from good to great.
If Hicks still wants out and if the Bears are willing to deal him, then the Titans should at least reach out and see if the two teams can help each other out. This is much more realistic than some pipe dream trades out there and Chicago will at least get something back for a player that will probably walk this offseason.