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Cardinals Reportedly Give Jordan Hicks Permission To Seek Trade

First-round pick Zaven Collins plays same position at Mike linebacker

The schedule comes out Wednesday afternoon, but the biggest Cardinals' news of the day may end up being about the team's linebacker situation.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that veteran inside linebacker Jordan Hicks has been given permission to potentially find a trade, after the Cards spent their first-round pick on eventual replacement Zaven Collins. No details are reported about how it came about, but given the high pick on Collins and the way the Cardinals have talked about his potential, it would seem that Collins' ascension into playing time was going to come sooner rather than later.

Hicks had agreed to a paycut earlier in the offseason, with a lot of incentives -- incentives that will be difficult to reach as a reserve. It will be interesting to see what market there might be; the idea was that Hicks would be the veteran voice at inside linebacker with the last two first-round picks -- Collins and Isaiah Simmons -- and there would be reason for the Cards to want to keep Hicks around. There's also a chance Hicks could be outright released, but with everything that's been said about the situation, there is a lot of benefit of keeping Hicks on the roster.

Then again, it would be understandable if Hicks would like to find a spot where he could expect more playing time.

The Cardinals will have rookie minicamp beginning Friday, the first on-field offseason work since the pandemic hit and wiped out 2020's offseason. Given what the Cards expect to have in the middle of their defense -- and knowing that battering ram Derrick Henry awaits in the first game of the season -- all the prep work the Cardinals can get for Collins and Simmons becomes even more important.

Jordan Hicks celebrates a big play in a home game against the Eagles in 2020