Of course, the team made a big move in the NFL Draft at Hicks’ position. Arizona was clearly enamored with Tulsa’s Zaven Collins, who had a huge breakout campaign in 2020, and took him a bit earlier than most expected at No. 16 overall.
After a strong sophomore season in 2019, Collins did it all for the Golden Hurricane in 2020, with 54 tackles in eight games, including 7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, four interceptions, and two defensive touchdowns.
The Cardinals have been looking to add star power on the defensive side to balance out an offense-heavy team led by Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Collins makes them younger and more explosive on that end, and it makes Hicks expendable. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, he’s been given permission to seek a trade.
1st round draft picks can change plans: The #AZCardinals picked LB Zaven Collins 16th overall, and he is now the starting MIKE backer. The team has given Jordan Hicks permission to find a new home via trade, source said. Hicks is a respected leader & AZ wants to do right by him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 12, 2021
Hicks will turn 29 in June. He is a former third round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2015 NFL Draft.
After four years in Philly, he signed a four-year, $34 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals ahead of the 2019 season. He has a base salary of $2 million for the coming season.
As ProFootballTalk notes, Arizona would save $2.9 million in cap space if they wait to trade him until after June 1, so we may see a deal reached sometime soon, but it probably wouldn’t become official until then. One has to imagine there will be a market for a solidly productive inside linebacker in his prime.