ARIZONA CARDINALS

Report: Cardinals to let Jordan Hicks find trade after Zaven Collins pick

May 12, 2021, 7:02 AM

Jordan Hicks (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)...

Jordan Hicks (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals starting middle linebacker Jordan Hicks will be allowed to search for a new home via trade after the team in April drafted Zaven Collins to play the same role, reported NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Wednesday.

Rapoport adds that the team wants to “do right by” Hicks, who was the quarterback of base packages in Arizona’s defense.

The sides have not ruled out Hicks remaining with the team as a veteran voice and depth option if there is no interest in a trade market for another team to take on his recently reduced contract, according to Rapoport.

The news is surprising considering the Cardinals have yet to put Collins, the 16th overall pick out of Tulsa, on the field to assure themselves he can learn the defense. Rookie minicamp does not start until Friday.

However, general manager Steve Keim spoke glowingly of Collins’ ability to lead a defense as a MIKE linebacker on the first day of the draft.

“When you watched Zaven, not only is he impressive athletically, but you watch him before the snap and his presnap stuff with directing traffic and communicating was excellent,” Keim said. “We took all those things into account when we made this pick.”

While committing to Collins playing immediately may be a surprise, it had already become clear the clock was ticking on Hicks’ time with Arizona.

“We’ll work through it as we go,” Kingsbury said April 29, when asked specifically about Hicks’ future. “Obviously, you don’t take (Collins) with the 16th pick unless you expect him to play. And he isn’t a guy who’s moving positions or had his hand down. He played inside linebacker.”

During the Cardinals’ NFL Draft press conferences after selecting Collins, Keim remained adamant that the rookie was picked to play middle linebacker (the MIKE position). Some draft analysts saw him more as an edge-rushing outside linebacker.

The Cardinals loved Collins’ size and movement skills in coverage that will pair him with 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Simmons at the two starting inside linebacker spots.

In eight games this past year at Tulsa, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Collins recorded 54 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles with four interceptions.

Meanwhile, Hicks posted 118 tackles with four passes defensed in 2020, his second year with Arizona.

In 2019, the middle linebacker was third in the NFL with 149 total tackles.

The 6-foot-1, 236-pound linebacker joined the Cardinals from the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a four-year, $34 million contract before that 2019 season. This year, he had already committed to a pay cut, per Rapoport.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Kyzir White and his teammates look on during OTAs...

Tyler Drake

White: Cardinals showing new level of maturity, seriousness in Year 2 of regime

Kyzir White isn't big on comparing teams. He has, however, seen some early similarities between the 2024 Cardinals and 2022 Eagles.

52 minutes ago

Kyzir White runs through drills during OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals’ Kyzir White letting his play do the talking in 2024

Arizona Cardinals inside linebackers Kyzir White and Mack Wilson Sr. are expecting big things out of the newly formed tandem in 2024.

15 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Did Monti Ossenfort and the Arizona Cardinals play mind games during the NFL draft?

Did Monti Ossenfort and the Arizona Cardinals play mind games during the NFL draft? Gambo and Mitch Vareldzis break down some of the information that was in Cardinals Flight Plan.

2 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Did Monti Ossenfort and the Arizona Cardinals play mind games during the NFL draft?

Did Monti Ossenfort and the Arizona Cardinals play mind games during the NFL draft? Gambo and Mitch Vareldzis break down some of the information that was in Cardinals Flight Plan.

2 days ago

Brandon Aiyuk...

Kevin Zimmerman

49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk fuels contract dispute talk with former ASU teammate Jayden Daniels

San Francisco 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk posted a conversation with former Arizona State teammate Jayden Daniels to TikTok Monday.

2 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Which Arizona Cardinals player who is flying under the radar could be a star in 2024?

Wolf & Luke discuss who is flying under the radar and could be a star for the Arizona Cardinals in 2024.

2 days ago

Report: Cardinals to let Jordan Hicks find trade after Zaven Collins pick