It’s not often that a “what if?” question gets you pondering about just how good of a fit a hypothetical trade may be, but a recent article from Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon is doing just that. The trade? Chicago Bears DT Akiem Hicks for Cleveland Browns’ WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Bears fans may be quick to point out that Hicks is the anchor of the defensive line, and looking at the splits that’s a very justifiable stance. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle is entering the final year of a 4-year deal he signed back in 2018 and there’s been plenty of questions surrounding his long term future in Chicago. On the flip side of this hypothetical trade offer is Beckham, a 28-year old wide receiver coming off of an ACL tear whose team looked much better without him than with him in 2020. From Gagnon’s perspective, he offers up this as to why Hicks would even be on the radar for a guy the caliber of Beckham:
Larry Ogunjobi and Sheldon Richardson are gone at that position. Malik Jackson signed on this offseason, and Andrew Billings is back after a COVID-19 opt-out, but the former is 31 and has started just seven games over the last two years, while the latter didn’t return in ideal football shape.
The worst kept secret in Chicago is the status of the Bears’ wide receiver corps past the 2021 season with Allen Robinson playing on a franchise tag and showing no signs of re-upping with the team. Could Darnell Mooney elevate his game to be the WR1 of the future? It’s possible, but this proposal would also bring an athletic second option to the Bears’ passing attack that is signed through the 2023 season. With four (and maybe five) years to work with while Justin Fields is on a rookie contract, Ryan Pace needs to make the most of surrounding their QB of the future with talent, and this trade could definitely accomplish that.
So what say you, Bears fans? Would you make the swap and bolster the offense or is Hicks on your no trade list?
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