Veteran LB Jordan Hicks waived by Arizona Cardinals
Mar 9, 2022, 1:35 PM
The Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday opted to waive starting middle linebacker and captain Jordan Hicks, effectively opening the door for second-year pro Zaven Collins.
Due to count $9.5 million against the cap if he played for Arizona this season, the cut saves Arizona $6.5 million and is $3 million in dead money, according to OverTheCap.com.
The Cardinals made the move after taking inside linebackers with their first-round picks in each of the past two seasons. After selecting Isaiah Simmons in 2020 and Zaven Collins last offseason, Arizona allowed Hicks to seek out a trade last summer before he instead fought his way back into earning a significant role.
Hicks recorded 116 tackles with four sacks and five passes defensed in the 2021 regular season.
Named a captain, the 29-year-old led the team in snaps (1,054) and percent of available downs played (97%), keeping Collins from appearing in a featured role.
The 16th overall pick out of Tulsa played 20% of the available snaps in 2021 but now figures to swing into a starting role alongside Simmons, who was the No. 8 selection a year prior.
“Jordan Hicks did a great job this year, especially under the circumstances he was in,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told reporters at the NFL Draft Combine last week. “And, you know, to be quite frank with you, I know it came out that it was my decision when to set the table straight, when we made that decision on draft day, we made it with the defensive staff.
“So Jordan was a guy that knew the defense inside and out. And obviously, we benefited from that because of the complexity of some of the things that we were doing. But moving forward, there’s no doubt that we have to get those young kids involved more.”