Cardinals releasing veteran Jordan Hicks a week before the start of free agency

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With a surplus of linebackers on their roster, the Cardinals have decided to parts with veteran Jordan Hicks, who tallied 384 tackles in three years with the team. Arizona released Hicks with a week remaining until the start of the free agency. 

The Cardinals have decided to turn the reigns over to fellow linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins. Simmons, the eighth overall pick in the 2020 draft, recorded 105 tackles and four forced fumbles in 17 starts last season. In six starts last season, Collins, the 16th overall pick in last year’s draft, made 25 tackles while breaking up three passes. 

“Jordan Hicks did a great job this year, especially under the circumstances he was in,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said during the NFL Scouting Combine. “To be quite frank with you, I know it came out that it was my decision (last offseason to start Collins) when, to set the record straight, we made that decision on draft day (and) we made it with a defensive staff.

“Jordan was a guy that knew the defense inside and out. 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.”

A third-round pick in the 2015 draft, Hicks broke into the NFL with the Eagles; he was a member of the Eagles’ team that won the franchise’s first Super Bowl at the end of the 2017 season. After four years in Philadelphia, Hicks signed a four-year deal with the Cardinals. During his first season in Arizona, Hicks set career highs with 150 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Last season, Hicks tallied 116 tackles while recording a career-high four sacks. He also recorded two fumble recoveries while helping the Cardinals clinch their first playoff berth since 2015. 

Given his age (29) and production, Hicks probably won’t be on the open market for very long. Hicks will get a head-start on free agency, as players who are slated to hit the open market cannot begin speaking with teams until March 14. 

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