While fans are spending their day refreshing Twitter for the latest NFL Schedule leaks, a piece of news dropped that could interest Philadelphia Eagles fans. Farewells are never easy and saying goodbye to linebacker Jordan Hicks a few years ago was gut-wrenching. However, there may be a chance to bring him back home.
Reports today suggested that the Cardinals are allowing the 28-year-old to find a potential trade suitor. This comes after the team spent a first-round pick on Zaven Collins and witnessed a disappointing season from former first-round pick Isaiah Simmons. He will now move outside, with Collins taking on a MIKE role and Hicks becoming somewhat expendable.
Why do the Cardinals want to trade Jordan Hicks?
The Texas product originally signed a four-year deal in free agency back in 2019 worth $36M with $20M guaranteed. He reduced his 2021 salary from $5M to $2M this past offseason in a bid to remain in Arizona, but that might not be enough…and we all know that the Eagles love a bargain.
The Cardinals are clearly trying to get younger and cheaper at the position while retaining a certain level of prowess. Chandler Jones is on the books for a whopping $20M cap hit this season, his final contracted year. With Collins and Simmons looking like the next two in line, the Cards can move on from veterans and cash in on those high-upside rookies on defense to compliment their high-octane offense that features names like Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins.
However, moving on from Hicks, who is only costing a few million dollars and is producing at such a high-rate, would be an interesting move.
What would the Eagles be getting?
Hicks logged 118 tackles last year, continuing to cement his status as one of the best open-field tacklers at his position. He also picked off a pass, batted down 4 more, and perhaps most importantly of all, started all 16 games. The big knock on him in Philadelphia was that he struggled to stay healthy. Since taking his talents to the Desert, he ironically hasn’t missed a single game.
The former third-round selection also put up 150 tackles in 2019 to go with 3 picks, 6 passes defensed, and 1.5 sacks. He’s only gotten better since landing in Arizona and while his coverage may not be spotless, his nose for the football and run defense is about as good as it gets.
Should the Eagles be interested?
Had the team not just signed Eric Wilson, then absolutely. But given the fact that the former Viking is joining the Eagles on a deal that costs the team just $1.3M and plays the same role, it makes very little sense.
On top of that, if we’re talking run defense and tackles, the Eagles have a potential stud in the making in the way of Alex Singleton to partner Wilson. He amassed 120 tackles in just 11 starts along with 5 TFL and 7 QB hits. Wilson shines in coverage, Singleton shines in scraping across the line of scrimmage and penetrating into the backfield. Is it really worth spending capital to bring in a more polished version when the team are clearly building for the long-term and want to develop their younger players?
The Eagles have a very young linebacker position behind those two. Davion Taylor is a second-year player and a former third-round pick, while Genard Avery is making the transition from DE. He will join the likes of T.J Edwards and Shaun Bradley in a Training Camp battle, while rookie JaCoby Stevens will be making the transition from safety. The word ‘stacked’ would be an understatement.
In any other scenario, this move would be a dream reunion and Howie Roseman would be licking his lips. But having to give up a draft pick or an asset and take on a bigger cap hit for production that’s already on the roster would make very little sense here.
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