The Arizona Cardinals fill one of their biggest team needs of the off-season in what looks to be an affordable contract.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Arizona Cardinals will be acquiring one of the most sought after defensive players in the 2019 NFL free agency class; Philadelphia Eagles standout inside linebacker Jordan Hicks.
The deal will be worth $36 million over the course of a four-year deal, $20 million of that is guaranteed. At only $9 million a year, the Cardinals get a steal of a contract compared to new Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley, who is getting $17 million per year, and new 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander, who will be paid $13.5 million per year.
Despite missing 21 games in the past four seasons, the 26-year-olds contract is an excellent value for the Redbirds. When he’s on the field, Hicks is nothing short of a playmaking inside linebacker, and one that excels in the modern NFL style of play.
Per Pro Football Focus, Jordan Hicks (92.0 rating) has ranked as the second best coverage inside linebacker in the NFL since 2015 just behind Luke Kuechly (94.2 rating). During the 2018 season, Hicks was also one of the better tackling linebackers as he missed a tackle once in every 20 snaps. His 2018 run coverage grade per PFF; an outstanding 81.3. His overall grade stood at 80.7, good for tenth in the NFL for inside linebackers.
Hicks should be a natural fit alongside Haason Reddick in the Broncos 3-4 defense. His all-around game will be a welcome sight for Cardinals fans longing for a premium inside linebacker. Overall, this is one of the best value signings in the NFL 2019 free agency.
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