Arizona Cardinals not picking up Zaven Collins’ 5th-year option

Apr 30, 2024, 4:38 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

The Arizona Cardinals are not picking up linebacker Zaven Collins’ fifth-year option, general manager Monti Ossenfort told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday.

The team had until Thursday to decide whether or not to pick the 2021 first-rounder’s option worth $13.2 million.

“We’ve talked a lot about it here the last couple weeks. We’re not going to pick up the fifth-year option on Zaven,” Ossenfort said. “We’ve had discussions with Zaven. We’re extremely happy with where he’s at and the versatility that he brings to the defense. We want to keep Zaven around here, it’s just the fifth-year option removes some flexibility in terms of the cap that comes along.

“We’re going to have some discussions here as we go. Love Zaven, love where he’s at, love what he brings to our defense and hopefully we can keep him around here for a long time.”

After beginning his tenure in the desert as an inside linebacker, Collins made the move to pass rusher under the new regime in 2023.

Across 17 games played, he recorded 3.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, an interception, three passes defensed and six QB hits working off the edge and in coverage.

What’s next for Zaven Collins and the Cardinals?

With Arizona opting against picking up Collins’ fifth-year option, there are a few avenues the two sides can now traverse.

The first is for Collins to simply play out his rookie contract and become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.

Collins and the franchise could also iron out a contract extension to keep the linebacker in town.

The final path centers around trading Collins in an effort to get something out of his departure. It wouldn’t be the first time Ossenfort and Co. went this route with a first-round linebacker, dealing Isaiah Simmons to the New York Giants last preseason for a 2024 seventh-round pick.

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