It was not a long time ago that Jordan Hicks was considered a major acquisition for the Arizona Cardinals. The Super Bowl LII champion arrived in Arizona with strong expectations. The linebacker figuring to be a solid man to get past the line of scrimmage alongside Chandler Jones.
The linebacker has started in all 16 games and still has two years left in his four-year, $36 million contract. But it appears the Cardinals’ front office is more concerned with how Hicks can back up the youth. Hicks telling reporters on July 31 he is not expected to be a starter.
Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks said GM Steve Keim called him a few days after drafting Zaven Collins to tell him he couldn’t compete for the starting ILB job. Hicks respected the honesty but was frustrated at his chance and job being taken away. pic.twitter.com/qTKpkHnuGr
— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) July 31, 2021
In the two seasons he has been the desert, Hicks has absolutely proved his worth. His tackling has been tremendous to the tune of 268 total since 2019. Not to mention nearly 64 percent of his stops have been solo in that time as well (171 of 268).
General manager Steve Keim is clearly expecting more from second-year linebacker Isaiah Simmons. He is also anticipating rookie Zaven Collins to do well, leaving Hicks to be in the reluctant position of second-stringer.
It certainly would be a shame for Hicks to leave after a sterling performance in two short seasons. But business is indeed business and there are plenty of teams that would love a guy like Hicks.
The seven-year veteran has been given permission to seek out trades but so far, nothing has happened. Hicks continues to report to camp but what if it’s just a matter of time?
Even at 29 years of age Hicks is, without question, still productive. But will he find it here in Arizona? Barring something unforeseen, the answer Hicks is looking for may not be in the valley.
Keim looks bullish on giving the young blood a chance and it is simply just how life in the league goes.
The front office is boldly demonstrating their faith in the more fresh linebackers by doing so. Simmons, Collins and less familiar names like Evan Weaver all have work to do. But perhaps it’s the chance that one of these men can’t deliver what’s necessary that will keep Hicks in Arizona.
But patience is finite, and there’s no telling how much longer Hicks is willing to stand by. The seasoned defender is likely living on borrowed time.
COREY PETERS RE-SIGNED
A man that is also a key veteran presence on defense has a future with little doubt now.
Defensive lineman Corey Peters has signed a one-year deal to stay with Arizona for his sixth season per the Cardinals’ website. However, there are no specifics yet on how much Peters will be paid in this one-year contract.
Peters’ longevity with the team will be necessary as he is responsible for forcing pressure up the middle while J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones take the corners. Alongside Jordan Phillips, this is an appealing look for the front line, especially when improving the run stop is paramount going forward. Arizona had the worst run defense in the NFC West during 2020, allowing 125.5 yards per game.
Peters missed essentially half of last season due to a patellar tendon tear. He left behind 15 tackles, three for a loss while adding two sacks. The defensive lineman has 146 total in his past five seasons with the Cardinals.
Peters did end up becoming the Cardinals’ Man of the Year nominee in 2020 but lost out to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Featured Image courtesy of the Arizona Cardinals
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