Jordan Hicks has been an extremely reliable player for the Arizona Cardinals over the past two seasons, but he may be getting a fresh start elsewhere in 2021.
The Cardinals selected former Tulsa star linebacker Zaven Collins with the 16th overall pick in the draft, which has apparently made Hicks expendable. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Wednesday that Hicks has been given permission to seek a trade.
Rapoport notes that Hicks took a $3 million pay cut and is scheduled to make just $2 million in base salary this season. That means the Cardinals could, in theory, keep him on the roster as a reserve player, but they want to give him an opportunity to pursue a starting job with another team.
Hicks, 28, was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round back in 2015. He signed a four-year, $36 million contract with Arizona prior to the 2019 season and proceeded to have a career year. Hicks had 149 tackles in 2019, which was the third-highest mark in the NFL. He had 118 total tackles last season and has not missed a game since the Cardinals signed him.
Between his reasonable contract and recent production, Hicks should be able to drum up some trade interest.
Trent Williams was one of the biggest offseason acquisitions for the San Francisco 49ers, and he wasted no time making his presence felt in Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Williams absolutely flattened Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks on a running play in the first half. He exploded off the line of scrimmage and got downfield what seemed like instantly.
That is exactly why Williams is a seven-time Pro Bowler and one of the best tackles in football. Some wondered if he would be rusty after holding out for the entire season with Washington last year, but that play made it seem like the year off was beneficial for him.
The 49ers acquired Williams in a trade with Washington back in April. They then agreed to a restructured contract with him that could result in him leaving next year, but they will do everything they can to keep him if he makes plays like that.
The NFL offseason is expected to be a busy one, and some big names are likely to find new homes next season. There will inevitably be some players hit with the franchise tag or retained by their teams, but there are plenty of high-profile players who will be traded or allowed to leave their current teams for a new home elsewhere.
Here are ten big names who could be in a new uniform when the next NFL season kicks off.
10. Jordan Hicks, LB, Eagles
Drafted by Philly in 2015, Hicks’ rookie deal with the Eagles is expiring. He emerged as a force on the team’s defense last season, recording 91 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 quarterback hits and 5 passes defended in 12 games. Injuries are a question with Hicks – he suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in 2017 and missed a month this season due to a calf injury. Still, when he’s on the field, he makes things happen. He even has 7 interceptions in 43 games. He’s expected to test free agency.
NFL players don’t walk onto the field as rookies and immediately become stars. They have to prove their worth on the field. Some have to bounce from team to team, and some were never even expected to be stars in the first place. Everyone gets there a different way, and every story is unique.
The 2018 NFL season has seen its share of breakout players. Some are rookies who were highly-anticipated but had to prove it on the field, while some were players once feared to be busts but finally put it together. Others were never expected to be anything more than squad players or roster filler, but have shown themselves to be capable of a whole lot more.
Here is each team’s biggest breakout player from the 2018 season.
Arizona Cardinals — Christian Kirk, WR
The rookie was only a second-round pick, but Kirk has offered the Cardinals some hope that their offense has a future beyond just Josh Rosen. Though he’s still searching for his first 100-yard game, he has several solid outings to his name, and has caught 3 touchdowns. He’s quickly become one of Rosen’s favorite targets and has racked up 536 yards receiving. He could end up in the 800-yard range when his season is over — a very solid rookie campaign.
NFL superstars tend to receive many rewards, ranging from massive contracts to All-Pro nods and trips to the Pro Bowl. But in order to succeed at the highest level, all 32 teams still need role players and unsung heroes to help them along their journey.
Sometimes those role players receive the recognition they deserve — most often within the fan bases or cities in which they play. But frequently, they are not recognized the way they should be.
Each team has some hidden gems on their roster — here’s a look at one for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – Markus Golden, linebacker
Markus Golden is more overlooked than unknown, but at his current rate of development, he won’t be forgotten much longer. Golden finished the 2016 season with 53 total pressures, 41 run stops and 12.5 sacks. The 41 run stops were good for fourth-most among edge defenders in the NFL. Golden is in line for a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod in 2017 if he continues at this pace. If that happens, the secret will be out.
Atlanta Falcons – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle
Grady Jarrett was considered underrated in college and that remained true over his first two seasons with the Falcons. Even despite a strong performance in the Super Bowl, Jarrett hasn’t exactly seen his name in lights. If Atlanta didn’t choke the game away, perhaps that would be different, but for now, Jarrett and his 78.3 Pro Football Focus rating will continue to fly under the radar.