The skinny on Jets DE Eric Hicks?

So what are the Jets getting in defensive end Eric Hicks, who they signed earlier this week?

On paper, there is a lot to get excited about. He is a 30-year-old defensive end who ranks fifth in Kansas City Chiefs history with 40 ½ sacks.

Sounds like a steal - a player, who should be in his prime, who seems to have a knack for getting to the quarterback.

But the picture isn't quite that rosy.

Hicks turns 31 next month, and has logged a lot of games (128) over his nine years in the NFL. You have to wonder how much tire is left on the tread.

"He is a solid back-up, but not a difference maker," said a source close to the Chiefs. "He's a veteran body who in my opinion should hang it up. He can't be an every down guy. Just doesn't have the juice in his legs."

And as for his sack totals, keep in mind 14 of them came in one season, 2000. In his other nine seasons, he's never had more than five.

Another factor to keep in mind – the Chiefs will be without star defensive end Jared Allen for the first four games of the season, due to a suspension, and still released Hicks. That speaks volumes about how they view him at this juncture of his career.

But on the positive side, Hicks at 6-6, 280 pounds, could be a very good fit at end in the Jets 3-4 defense. He probably needs to add a few pounds, but he's built like a prototypical 3-4 end, and this could revive his career. He's not longer the pass rusher he was early in his career, but he's rugged and tough, and seems to have the mentality to succeed doing the dirty work required of 3-4 ends.

"I don't think he can get many if any sacks for the Jets this season, but is solid against the run – very solid in fact.," said the source.

Considering how inconsistent the Jets run defense was last year, if Hicks was just a solid run-stuffer, the Jets would be ecstatic. Something else they are ecstatic about regarding Hicks is his character, which is off-the-charts.

"He is a great, great person," said the source. "He is a great locker room guy who never makes excuses and if he screws up takes it for the team. He plays hurt."

Even though Hicks isn't the player he used to be, this signing makes sense on a lot of levels. And plus the Jets aren't paying him a lot of money, so why not take a flyer on him?


Jets Insider Top Stories