4 former Buccaneers who are surprisingly free agents, and where they could sign

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v San Francisco 49ers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v San Francisco 49ers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Akiem Hicks, DT

Much like Carl Nassib, there's an argument to be made that Akiem Hicks can step into a defensive line room and make a difference that he's everyone around him.

That's why the Bucs wanted him, and why he wanted to come chase a ring in Tampa Bay. Things didn't exactly work out the way anyone envisioned, but that was more the circumstances of last season than Hicks failing to be a contributor on defense. When he was healthy, Hicks was a wrecking ball against the run and was everything Todd Bowles thought he'd be when they brought him in from Chicago.

Speaking of which, Hicks was one of the lone bright spots for the Bears on an otherwise terrible team that last year with Matt Nagy as head coach. Chicago's defense was already the best part of the team, and Hicks stood out as a key part of that. One so-so year with a bad Buccaneers team shouldn't tarnish his reputation.

A team like the New York Jets feels like a perfect fit for Hicks. He'd essentially be able to run back what he attempted to do last year in chasing a Super Bowl with a future Hall of Fame quarterback and a defensive-minded head coach. Aaron Rodgers will have the Jets contending in the AFC, and Robert Salah knows how to get the most out of his veterans on defense. Hicks isn't an expensive mercenary to hire, which is even more reason he makes a ton of sense with the Jets.

Potential Fits:

  • New York Jets
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Baltimore Ravens