Should Kwesi Pursue Long-Time Vikings Killer, Akiem Hicks?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have had a rocky 0-2 start to the 2023 NFL season. Despite the early setbacks, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah seems determined not to throw in the towel, just yet.

This week, for example, they addressed two of their depth chart’s biggest weaknesses, with the signing of offensive guard, Dalton Risner and, a couple of days later, acquiring Cam Akers from the Los Angeles Rams.

Should Minnesota Vikings make an effort to sign Akiem Hicks next?

But what’s the next logical step for for a team that seems so determined to fill holes on their roster in-season? One move that would significantly bolster the biggest weak spot on their defense is the signing of free agent veteran defensive tackle, and long-time Vikings killer, Akiem Hicks.

Related: O’Connell Reiterates Alexander Mattison is Vikings’ RB1; Cam Akers Likely Inactive

Hicks has even acknowledged the internet chatter amongst Vikings fans, who have been tagging him on Twitter to gauge his interest in being Minnesota’s next in-season splash transaction. Hicks included the Skol hashtag and nervous laughing emojis in his tweet.

In the age of social media, this might not be definitive confirmation that Akiem Hicks is interested in being a member of the Minnesota Vikings… but it doesn’t suggest he isn’t either.

So, why should the Vikings consider making a move for Akiem Hicks? Well, their most glaring issue on defense is against the run. Through two weeks, the Vikings are allowing an alarming 166 yards per game, on the ground. that’s 4th most in the NFL.

Last Thursday, vs the Eagles, Minnesota’s pass defense held up reasonably well. But once the Philadelphia offense realized Minnesota couldn’t stop the run, they handed it off the rest of the night like a Mike Zimmer team after his QB threw a couple 1st half interceptions.

Akiem Hicks is an instant improvement

Sure, some improvements can be made schematically, but ultimately, success on the field depends on the players themselves. Akiem Hicks is a force to be reckoned with, and Vikings fans are all too familiar with the disruption he caused during his time with the Chicago Bears.

Hicks single-handedly ruined entire Vikings’ game plans, from 2016-2021, consistently making life exceedingly difficult for the Kirk Cousins, the offensive line, and running back Dalvin Cook.

How old/effective would Akiem Hicks be?

Hicks isn’t in the prime of his career anymore but, at 33 years old, he remains a starting-caliber interior defensive lineman in the NFL, provided he’s still in playing shape. Last season, Akiem Hicks started 11 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, proving that he can still perform at a high level.

Related: Vikings Continue To Take Kirk Cousins’ Durability For Granted

Adding Hicks to the Vikings’ defensive line would provide an immediate boost to one of the weakest positions on their roster. It would also allow Harrison Phillips to play in his natural position, and enhance the team’s overall talent and flexibility on the defensive front.

Even after the signings of Risner and Akers, the Vikings aren’t hurting for 2023 cap space. According to, they still have $9.6 million available. Kwesi could make a move on Hicks and still have plenty of room leftover. In all reality, signing Hicks would be such a low risk and improve the team at such a needed position that it doesn’t really make sense not to make it happen…

Signing Hicks makes almost too much sense for Minnesota Vikings…

Looking at Hicks’ career stats, it’s evident that he brings a wealth of experience and productivity to the table. With 409 tackles, 115 QB hits, 75 tackles for loss, 41.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles over 11 NFL seasons, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to disrupt opposing offenses. His familiarity with the NFC North makes him an even more intriguing prospect.

Hicks spent last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, marking his fourth NFL team (Saints, Patriots, Bears, Bucs). If Akiem is still hungry for success and wants to join a contender for the 2023-24 season the Vikings would be silly not to get him on roster ASAP, especially after Marcus Davenport’s early injury issues.

Would signing Hicks immediately transform Minnesota into a Super Bowl contender? That is yet to be seen. But, especially given they play in the NFL’s worst division, an infusion of defensive talent like Hicks, at a position the team is so desperate to improve, would undoubtedly move them in the right direction.

Related: Danielle Hunter’s Hot Start Means Everything for Vikings Defense, His Pocketbook

After signing Dalton Risner and trading for Cam Akers, a free agent drive stopper up the middle like Akiem Hicks represents the next logical step in bolstering this team’s chances at making and excelling in the playoffs.

It’s a move that could help the Minnesota Vikings turn their season around and put them on the path to contention. Fans have good reason to be eyeing Hicks. It’s a move that makes almost too much sense and one that could pay dividends in their pursuit of success.

Dominique Clare | Minnesota Sports Fan

Mentioned in this article:

More About: