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.
The team confirmed the contract on Saturday afternoon, but did not reveal the details of the contract.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport both reported that the Bears inked Hicks to a new four-year contract 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.