The Cardinals are up against the salary cap and have created some space with a Wednesday move.
Arizona released linebacker Jordan Hicks, the team announced. The Cardinals also tendered one-year offers to exclusive rights free agents running back Jonathan Ward and wide receiver Antoine Wesley, and are retaining linebacker Devon Kennard, who has agreed to a restructure to stay in Arizona, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.
Hicks' release is notable because of two reasons. First, cutting Hicks saves the Cardinals $6.5 million in cap space, bumping up their available space over $8 million, and, secondly, it costs Arizona a starting linebacker who ended up taking more defensive snaps than 2021 first-round selection Zaven Collins.
The move essentially creates an opportunity for Collins to see the field more in 2022, much like former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons received more playing time in 2021 than his rookie season of 2020.
Hicks started all 17 games in 2021, racking up 116 tackles (seven for loss), a career-high four sacks, five passes defensed and one forced fumble in his third season with the Cardinals. The former third-round pick of the Eagles turns 30 in June and still offers starter-quality play to a team in need of a defensive reinforcement. With the new league year just around the corner, Hicks should find a fit elsewhere.