The Arizona Cardinals have made their first splash in the free agency market in 2019, as they have agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Jordan Hicks on a four-year $36 million deal with $20 million in guaranteed money.
This is a huge signing for the Arizona Cardinals as inside linebacker is one of the biggest needs on the Cardinals current roster.
Not only are the Arizona Cardinals getting a strong player in Hicks, but they are getting someone who can be a part of the rebuild over the next two to three years while Hicks (26) is still in his prime.
Hicks when healthy has been a complete baller, from PFF:
Hicks looked on his way to becoming one of the league’s elite linebackers early in his career before injuries took their toll. He earned 84.6 and 91.1 coverage grades in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The issue with Hicks has been the ability to stay on the field the last two seasons:
Hicks has only managed 1,043 snaps since though with injuries. If he can stay healthy, the Cardinals just landed one of the best LBs in the NFL.
The Cardinals have not had this dynamic of a linebacker since Daryl Washington in 2012.
This is the second domino to fall on the defense for the Cardinals, but this is the more important one, as Hicks could be the defensive play caller the Arizona Cardinals have been missing the last several years in the middle.