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Report: Jordan Hicks to Seek Trade from Cardinals After Zaven Collins Drafted

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2021

Arizona Cardinals middle linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly given linebacker Jordan Hicks permission to seek a trade after they selected linebacker Zaven Collins with the No. 16 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Arizona wants to "do right by" Hicks by giving him the opportunity to play elsewhere since it plans to make Collins a starting inside linebacker.

Rapoport added that any team that acquires Hicks must consider the $2 million in playing-time incentives and $1 million roster bonus in his contract. Rapoport also didn't rule out the possibility of Hicks remaining with the Cards in a reserve role.

The 28-year-old Hicks has spent the past two seasons in Arizona after playing four years with the Philadelphia Eagles to start his NFL career.

Hicks, a 2015 third-round pick out of Texas, enjoyed two of his most productive seasons in 2019 and 2020, starting all 16 games in each campaign.

He set a career high with 150 tackles in 2019, adding three interceptions, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as well. Hicks followed that with 118 tackles and one pick last season for a team that fell just short of the playoffs.

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He also started 40 of the 43 regular-season games he appeared in for the Eagles, reeling in a career-best five interceptions in 2016 and being part of the Eagles team that won the Super Bowl in 2017.

If Arizona does trade Hicks, it will leave head coach Kliff Kingsbury and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph with one of the most inexperienced yet talented starting inside linebacker duos in the NFL.

Last year, the Cards selected Isaiah Simmons with the No. 8 pick. The versatile defender started seven of the 16 games he appeared in and recorded 54 tackles, two sacks and one interception.

Collins will arrive after three productive collegiate seasons at Tulsa, including 54 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions in just eight games last season.

Although there could be some growing pains for Simmons and Collins in the heart of the Arizona defense, the presence of highly productive veterans such as Chandler Jones and new arrival J.J. Watt could go a long way toward mitigating those concerns.

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