Heaps: The ‘all-in’ Seahawks trade target no one is talking about
The closer we get to the 2021 Seahawks season, the more it seems like it’s going to be a “win now” situation. If that’s truly the case, one more splashy move this offseason certainly wouldn’t hurt Seattle’s chances of making a Super Bowl run.
When it comes to a big trade Seattle could pull off, the ship has already sailed on wide receiver Julio Jones, who went to Tennessee. Another option that has been talked about is cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who plays a position where the Seahawks could still use an upgrade.
But according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps, there’s one more big-time trade target the Seahawks should be considering that nobody has been talking about.
“How about another position that needs addressing? Defensive tackle,” Heaps said during Wednesday’s edition of Jake and Stacy. “There is a guy out there that would be an absolute difference-maker. He would be a big-time get for the Seattle Seahawks in terms of his production and what he’s been able to do. The name: Akiem Hicks.”
Here’s a quick breakdown on Hicks. He’s a massive DT at 6 foot 4 and 352 pounds, will turn 32 in November, and wrapped up his fifth season with the Chicago Bears in 2020 following earlier stints with New Orleans (who drafted him in the third round in 2012) and New England. A 2018 Pro Bowler, he was still productive last season with 3.5 sacks, 49 combined tackles, seven tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in 15 games. The most important stat to know, however, is that he registered a career-high 21 quarterback hits in 2020.
According to Heaps, Hicks is a perfect fit both for what the Seahawks need to do on defense this year and the price he would cost in a trade because of where he’s at in his career.
“He’s on the tail end of his career, you wouldn’t be giving him a massive extension down the line, and this wouldn’t be a big trade in terms of capital that you would have to give up for him by any means,” Heaps said. “I think you might even be able to get him for potentially a late-round pick.”
While some think cornerback is the position most in need of an upgrade on Seattle’s defense, Heaps has his reasons for directing attention to the middle of the defensive line.
“If you’re looking at truly upgrading your team – I know cornerback has been the focus – I think the focus for this team needs to be up front. They have to establish themselves as one of the most feared front sevens in the NFL,” he said. “Within the division that they play in, that has been an area that they’ve struggled in mightily. It’s not just in the passing game, it’s not just about pass rush, but how good have they been in terms of their run-stopping ability? They took a step forward last year. I think a guy like Akiem Hicks can really, really establish that, take them to another level and solidify that interior defensive line.”
There is one concern, however – Hicks carries a $10.4 million salary cap hit in 2021.
“Makes me nervous, Jake,” said Stacy Rost, Heaps’ co-host on Jake and Stacy. “You’d need to make the room.”
Heaps had an answer for that.
“Jamal Adams, they get that (contract extension) done and there will be more room to the cap.”
You can listen to the full conversation in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy