Jordan Hicks ‘was ready’ for Arizona Cardinals release this offseason

Mar 20, 2022, 7:45 AM | Updated: Mar 21, 2022, 1:17 pm
Jordan Hicks #58 of the Arizona Cardinals forces Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars to...
Jordan Hicks #58 of the Arizona Cardinals forces Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars to fumble during the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field on September 26, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The writing was on the wall for former Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Jordan Hicks.

Despite holding off his projected replacement in Zaven Collins last year and retaining his starting role as the team’s MIKE backer, it was clear Arizona had its sights set on the now-second-year pro stepping into a larger role sooner rather than later.

General manager Steve Keim doubled down on that notion to get younger at the position during the NFL Combine, acknowledging the team needs to get Collins and fellow backer Isaiah Simmons involved more in coordinator Vance Joseph’s defense.

So when Hicks was officially waived more than a week ago, it wasn’t much of a surprise for the veteran and his family.

“My situation back in Arizona, I kind of knew something was gonna shake,” Hicks told reporters during his Minnesota Vikings introductory press conference on Thursday. “So, my family was ready for it. I’ve got three young kids, all under the age of four, God bless my wife. There’s a lot of moving parts that happen in this job and it’s part of it. I’ve been through it before, I’ve seen it before. This is my second free agency, so you prepare.

“It’s been a whirlwind. It all happened really quickly for me, a lot different than my first round through free agency … I’m excited to be here. My family’s excited to be here. Can’t wait to get started.”

While Arizona appears to be full steam ahead with Collins as the team’s quarterback of the defense this year, the hole Hicks leaves behind is large.

Since he first arrived to the desert in 2019, Hicks started 49 games, bringing consistency to the middle of the defense over the past three seasons. He led or was tied for the lead among Cardinals defenders in tackles in all but one season, coming in second behind only Jalen Thompson (121) in 2021 with a mark of 116.

As for how his kids feel about the Vikings? It’ll likely come down to the sound levels at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“They don’t like the Cardinals,” Hicks said. “They went to the Cardinals games and it was too loud for them. Football games aren’t their thing yet.

“Any time you would ask them if they liked Cardinals they always said no. … Hopefully they’ll be old enough to go to a game and enjoy it. I know our fans are loud, so we’ll see.”

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