Versatile offensive lineman Artis Hicks appears to be close to an agreement with the Washington Redskins, according to his agent JR Rickert. Hicks has spent the past four seasons with the Vikings and last year was the team's top backup at both guard and tackle spots.
Last season, Hicks started one game at right tackle in place of Phil Loadholt (leg) and two games at right guard in place of Anthony Herrera (concussion). Obtained in a trade from the Eagles in 2006, shortly after Brad Childress had left as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, Hicks came to the Vikings as the team's starting right guard.
He held that job in 2006 and for the first four games in 2007 but eventually was replaced by Herrera. Hicks, though, proved his value as a reserve and played a key role for the Vikings in 2008 when he started the first four games of the season in place of the suspended Bryant McKinnie at left tackle.
The Redskins have had a handful of offensive linemen in for visits since free agency opened. Hicks has spent much of the day visiting the Redskins complex. He had been scheduled to make visits to Arizona and Detroit but those trips obviously will be off if he signs.
This would mark the second day in a row the Vikings have lost a free agent after running back Chester Taylor signed with the Chicago Bears on Friday. This also means the Vikings now can sign two unrestricted free agents, although the players they sign will have to get contracts that are the same as what Taylor and Hicks have or would receive.
Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy and cornerback Benny Sapp remain on the market as unrestricted free agents.
We'll keep you up to date tonight if and when the deal gets done.