While many Bears fans huddled around television sets to watch the NFC Championship Game between the Packers and 49ers last night, one prominent member of the team watched the action play out in the flesh.
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks watched the game from the stands, sharing a tweet with video that included a caption wondering what it would be like if Soldier Field was hosting the NFC title game. (Spoiler alert: It would be – as kids say – lit!) But who would’ve guessed that Hicks’ tweet would ultimately lead to an interesting exchange between him and Eric Ebron, a free-agent-to-be, who happens to play a position of need (TE) that the team figures to address in the offseason.
Follow along for a moment:
I can hear it now… Eeeeebrrrooooonnn
— akiem hicks (@The_Dream99) January 20, 2020
First of all, nice seats, Akiem. End zone views are the best and I’ll fight anyone who says anything to the contrary. But more to the point, there’s Ebron’s usage of “🤔” as part of a quote tweeted response to Hicks. That emoji is universally known as the one that can send you sideways through a loop quicker than any other emoji on your keyboard (heck – it led us to this very discussion), and it’s at least worth addressing. At a minimum, Hicks wasn’t alone in his curiosity (as to what it’d be like if Chicago was playing a home game with the George S. Halas trophy hanging in the balance).
Ebron, 26, has a unique prospect pedigree as a 2014 first-round pick and 2018 Pro Bowler. But he is also set to become a free agent this summer (Colts GM Chris Ballard expressed a desire to part ways with the tight end during his season-ending press conference). Given his position and the Bears needs, there’s obviously a bit of a fit there.
And what better place to re-boot your career than Chicago? Between ties to quarterback (and fellow University of North Carolina product) Mitch Trubisky, a chance to face the team that drafted him (the Lions) twice a year, and Chicago’s need for a tight end, Ebron eyeing the Bears as a future landing spot is sensible. So much so, in fact, we’ve already discussed him as a player the Bears could be interested in this offseason and added him to a list of players we’ll keep a close eye on when free agency opens up.
So OF COURSE, Ebron’s exchange with Hicks here isn’t some clear sign he wants to join the Bears (let’s be real … it was an quote tweeted emoji), but given the previously existent connection and fit, it felt worth bringing up.