Linebacker Jordan Hicks has been everything that the Arizona Cardinals could’ve hoped for since he came to the club last season
In March of 2019, the Arizona Cardinals front office took what appeared to be a tremendous risk. General manager Steve Keim forked over $20 million in guaranteed money to Jordan Hicks, a free agent who had struggled to remain healthy during his professional career. The Cards certainly rolled the dice with the inside linebacker, but it appears as if the gamble may be paying off in a big way.
Hicks was absolutely amazing in his first campaign with Arizona. The 6’1, 236 pounder racked up an eye-popping 150 tackles, the fourth-highest total in the league last fall. If that wasn’t enough, Hicks also contributed three interceptions, six pass breakups and 1.5 sacks to a Cardinals defensive unit that performed miserably for most of last season.
Even more impressive than the production was the fact that Hicks started and finished every game for only the second time since he entered the NFL back in 2015. In fact, the former Philadelphia Eagles draft pick was one of just two defenders (Malcolm Jenkins being the other) to play every snap for their respective teams in 2019.
The former third-round selection suited up for just eight games as an Eagles rookie back in ’15, thanks to a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in a meeting with the Dallas Cowboys. In 2017, Hicks was sidelined for nine matchups after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in week seven. A calf strain cost the former University of Texas product four more games in 2018.
Not all of Keim’s free agent acquisitions have panned out, but the addition of Hicks looks like a winner. There are still three years remaining on the 28-year old’s $36 million deal, but he appears to be worth every penny. Hicks has made a seamless transition from Philadelphia to the desert, and the veteran’s best may be yet to come.