Do The Chiefs Need Hicks?

The Kansas City Chiefs have two prominent defensive free agents remaining on their roster, Jerome Woods and Eric Hicks.

The Chiefs are hopeful of keeping Woods. Kansas City has entered into contract talks with Woods agent and both sides hope to reach an agreement soon. That leaves Hicks and the Chiefs would be wise to let him test the free agent waters.

Eric Hicks, an undrafted defensive end out of Maryland, has had a productive NFL career. He established a career-high with 14 sacks in 2000, and has 35.5 in his career. Those are solid numbers, but ones that the Chiefs should not be enamored with.

Hicks has seen his production steadily decline since his breakout 2000 season. He only had 5 sacks last season, and was often pushed around. To go along with his lack of a pass rush, Hicks did not force any fumbles and had his least amount of tackles since 2000.

On top of that, he had a heated argument with Ryan Sims during and after a game at Minnesota. Though only 27, Eric Hicks appears to be at a crossroads in his career.

The Chiefs would be wise to look to other alternatives when it comes to the defensive end position. They currently have two young players in Montique Sharpe and Jimmy Wilkerson that shined when given playing time. That is definitely an alternative, and not a bad one at that.

Supporters of Hicks will argue that he excelled under Gunther Cunningham's tutelage. That is true, but that was three seasons ago. Do the Chiefs really want to pay Eric Hicks a couple of million dollars per season after what they have seen from him since Cunningham departed? It is too risky, and not sensible.

Kansas City faces a lot of questions with regards to their defense, and defensive end is obviously one of them. Surely, there is a free agent on the open market that will be more productive than Hicks. Also, the Chiefs could give R-Kal Truluck more snaps.

Eric Hicks was once a productive player for the Chiefs, but he is only marginal now. He repeatedly gets pushed around, rarely delivers a pass rush, and is suspect against the run.

If the Chiefs do decide to re-sign Eric Hicks, it should be as a part-time player, and not as a starter.


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