Jordan Hicks has turned into a solid free-agent signing for the Cardinals. The scouting report on the linebacker was always that he would make plays if he was healthy, and he's been healthy. Based on the Cardinals' defensive stats, Hicks has a team-leading 123 tackles -- eight for loss -- and 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and six pass breakups.
It's not a surprise he ranks up there in the Pro Bowl voting. With a little more than a week to go in the fan tallies, Hicks remains fifth overall among all NFL inside linebackers and fourth among NFC candidates.
"I'd be silly to say it doesn't mean anything to me, and lying to say it doesn't," Hicks said. "But it's never really been my focus. When I signed with this team, I signed because I believe in this coaching staff, I believe in the vision of where this team was heading, and I believed I could play a role in that direction. That's been the focus the whole time. The stats, that's been a by-product of the coaches putting me in the right positions and me being able to capitalize.
"Obviously it's a good feeling to earn that respect. You play this game for respect. You ask anybody in this locker room about why they play this game, most of them will tell you they play it for respect. I'm no different. To know, tangibly, that it's actually happening is a good feeling."
Hicks is one of four Cardinals who continue to show up in the top 10 at their positions. Chandler Jones is fourth and third in the NFC at outside linebacker, Budda Baker is fifth and second in the NFC at free safety, and Zane Gonzalez slipped a spot at kicker, falling to sixth overall and third in the NFC.
Fan voting is open here on NFL.com for one more week, through Dec. 12. Players and coaches will then make their choices, with the teams being announced in on an NFL Network special Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. Arizona time.