Competition is an odd thing.
For the majority of the Steve Keim era we have lamented that rookies have seemingly not been able to win starting positions.
Now, the Arizona Cardinals have reversed their position and given newly drafted Zaven Collins the keys to the defense as a rookie.
They did so immediately, telling veteran incumbent Jordan Hicks that Collins was going to be the starter, and leaving Hicks to find a new job if anyone would take him.
Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks said GM Steve Keim called him a few days after drafting Zaven Collins to tell him he couldn’t compete for the starting ILB job. Hicks respected the honesty but was frustrated at his chance and job being taken away. pic.twitter.com/qTKpkHnuGr— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) July 31, 2021
Hicks was understandably frustrated and has let that frustration be known publicly, but he also is in camp and working.
He is a veteran that understands the league, he understands that the NFL is truly the not for long league and that he has really struggled in his two years with the Cardinals.
However, Hicks will get a shot to play. Linebackers rarely stay healthy for a full season, and young linebackers in the NFC West will have an even more difficult job than most linebackers.
The Cardinals look like they want to be playing as much 4-2-5 as possible, meaning there will be a lot of pressure on the Cardinals inside unit.
Should Hicks be frustrated? Absolutely, but he should trust that he will get a shot to contribute and maybe in a big way.