The Arizona Cardinals landing linebacker Zaven Collins in the 2021 NFL Draft will have a domino effect on defense.
With Collins slated to play the MIKE linebacker in the middle of the Cards D, former starter Jordan Hicks has been permitted to seek a new home via trade, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per a source informed of the situation.
Hicks previously took a $3 million pay cut to remain in Arizona.
Rapoport added that the 28-year-old Hicks could stick in Arizona as a veteran voice behind Collins, but the Cards will allow him to gauge the market first.
The linebacker joined Arizona in 2019 after four seasons in Philadelphia. He started every game the past two seasons with the Cards, compiling 268 total tackles, four interceptions, and 1.5 sacks. Hicks, however, struggled last season, missing 14 tackles and allowing 41 catches in coverage (57 targets).
The Cardinals believe they've upgraded the position with Collins.
Hicks is due $2 million in base salary in 2021 with a $1 million roster bonus and $2 million in playtime incentives. A team in need of a veteran presence might look at Hicks as an option. Given the timing in the offseason calendar, his market might be better later in the year, particularly if injuries strike. Most coaching staffs and general managers want to see what they have in younger players at this stage before making a move for a veteran who has been passed on the depth chart.