Nick Vigil adds depth at inside linebacker for the Cardinals

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Nick Vigil
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Nick Vigil /

Inside linebacker Nick Vigil will provide the Arizona Cardinals with veteran experience behind Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins.

A week has passed since Jordan Hicks left the Arizona Cardinals to ink a free-agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings. On Tuesday, general manager Steve Keim brought in a player to replace the veteran inside linebacker.

Nick Vigil, fresh off of a one-year stint with Minnesota, will provide experience for the Cards at a position that has suddenly become very youthful. Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins, the team’s last two first-round selections, are projected to be the starters in 2022.

Collins failed to live up to the hype last fall. Hicks was able to hold off the challenge of the rookie, basically leaving Arizona’s hierarchy with egg on their face. Will Collins show enough improvement this offseason to keep the scrappy Vigil on the bench?

Nick Vigil comes to the Arizona Cardinals with 51 starts on his NFL resume

Vigil started his pro career back in 2016 when he was a third-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. In 54 appearances (37 starts) for that franchise, the former Utah State University product racked up 295 tackles, two interceptions, and 14 pass breakups.

In March of 2020, Vigil left the Bengals to sign a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder appeared in 15 games for that squad and was credited with two starts. Vigil tallied 50 tackles and two sacks in his one and only campaign with the Chargers.

Vigil agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings in 2021, his third organization in three years. The Utah native appeared in 16 contests (12 starts), tallying 85 tackles and a sack for Minnesota. During a Week 2 loss to the Cards, Vigil picked off an errant Kyler Murray pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.

Arizona is the next stop in Vigil’s NFL journey. For now, the 28-year-old will assume the role of a backup. If Collins continues to struggle, however, Vigil is more than capable of taking his place in the starting lineup.

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