For the first time in months, Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks spoke to the media. Hicks and his foundation hosted a sneaker giveaway at SOS Children's Village on Tuesday as part of a Back To School celebration.
"I know that there's been talk about me not speaking for months at a time. I think the number was nine months, Hicks said. "And the funny part about that is I was on vacation. You weren't to speak to me anyway."
Fair enough, it was a long offseason. He also wanted to celebrate reaching this moment of his career.
But his relationship with the Bears has come under scrutiny during those months with contract extension discussions not progressing and reports the Bears tried to trade him and speculation he could be released as a cap casualty this offseason.
"And I think that no matter what I said, no matter how I phrase my intention on being a Bear for the rest of my career, that's what I want," Hicks told the media on Tuesday. "That's what I feel at the end of the day is it right for me.
"I started a piece of my career here and it grew and blossomed. And I've just had so many joy filled moments as a Chicago Bear, I can't see myself in another jersey. So I think for me, less battle about contract situations and really just enjoying the space."
Retiring as a Bears requires two parties to come together, and general manager Ryan Pace will have a lot of input on Hicks' career future.
For his part, Hicks says he'll "do everything in my power to do so."