Arizona Cardinals: Rookie deal extension candidates and what they might get

The 2021 draft class for the Arizona Cardinals will be looking for a new contract, whether it is with the Cardinals or elsewhere.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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1.) Zaven Collins, linebacker

The 16th overall pick for the Cardinals will be eligible for a fifth-year option, should Ossenfort choose to pick it up. In three seasons, Collins' best season came in 2022 where he dominated for the Arizona defense. In 16 games, Collins recorded 100 total tackles (63 solo and 11 behind the line of scrimmage), 2 sacks, 6 pass deflections, and a pick-six. His transition from his rookie year to his second year was outstanding. Even though he got 3.5 sacks this past season, his numbers dramatically dropped in production (only 41 total tackles). 

This is a tricky situation for Ossenfort because he was not in charge of the front office when Collins had a breakout year in 2022. If the Cardinals do pick up his fifth-year option, Collins’ big contract talks could be extended to another year but he would make around $12.5 million according to Spotrac.

The 2024 season will be crucial for Collins’ future in Arizona. However, he has shown that he can perform at a high level and a second year in Jonathan Gannon’s defense might just show it. At this moment, it would be best to pick up Collins’ fifth-year option.