By Chris Emma–

(CBS) Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks has a new agent, and now he could be ready for a new contract.

Fresh off a breakout season, the 27-year-old Hicks has signed with super-agent Drew Rosenhaus and Rosenhaus Sports Representation after parting ways with his previous agent, Frank Murtha.

Now, the next step for Hicks and Rosenhaus could be seeking a long-term deal from the Bears. After the team expressed its belief in Hicks with a two-year, $10-million deal in March 2016, Hicks delivered with 54 tackles and seven sacks last season.

The Bears have rebuilt their defensive front with young talents like Hicks. Now that he’s entering a contract season, it seems likely that negotiations for a new contract could take place.

General manager Ryan Pace is set to speak with the media upon the Bears’ arrival at training camp in Bourbonnais on July 26, when he will address many issues with his team, including the future of Hicks.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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