The Chicago Bears have locked up one of their key contributors on defense, as they’ve signed defensive end Akiem Hicks to a lucrative new contract extension, according to reports.

Those reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport say that the Bears signed Hicks, who was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season, to a new four-year contract that’s worth a reported $48 million.

According to Schefter, Hicks’ deal will have $30 million in guaranteed money.

Hicks signed with the Bears last season and immediately made a big impact, racking up a career high seven sacks and 36 tackles as he started all 16 games for the team. He also defended a pair of passes and forced two fumbles as he established himself as a key member of the team’s front seven.

Hicks and the Bears will start their 2017 regular season on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons to Soldier Field. 

Published 3 hours ago

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