Report: Cardinals will not pick up LB Zaven Collins' 5th-year option

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals have answered a question regarding linebacker Zaven Collins’ 2024 season. According to the The Burns & Gambo Show out in Phoenix, the Cardinals will not be picking up Collins’ fifth-year option so Collins is set to hit the free agent market after the 2024 season. This should come as no surprise as Collins has not been able to live up to a first round status since being drafted. Collins was drafted in 2021 and he will now potentially be looking for a new home after next season.

If the Cardinals had decided to pick up the option, it would have been a $13.2 million commitment which would not have made sense. In three seasons with Arizona, Collins has 166 tackles (100 total alone in 2022), 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 12 pass deflections. Arizona drafted Collins at No. 16 overall in 2021, passing on players like Jaelan Phillips, Christian Darrisaw, Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, and Greg Rousseau. These players have made significant impacts at some point in their tenure with their current teams.

Collins will now enter a contract year which can be good for both sides. For Collins, players on contract years tend to perform at a high level so that they can get a nice payday. As for the Cardinals, if Collins does perform well but not at an elite level, the Cardinals may have leverage to bringing him back for another year or two to keep the development going.

Despite the Cardinals not drafting a linebacker for the first since 2019, they still opt to put some pressure on Collins heading into this season. It is the smartest move for the Cardinals and now Collins will have the chance to show other NFL teams what he can bring if he finds himself in a new city next year.