Jordan Hicks

Browns To Add LB Jordan Hicks

The Browns are set to reward Jim Schwartz‘s recent success as defensive coordinator by bringing in a former player of his. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cleveland will sign former Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks to a two-year, $8MM contract.

Hicks and Schwartz worked together when the pair were both in Philadelphia near the start of Hicks’ career. Health assisted, but after pairing with Schwartz, Hicks took a big step forward in his sophomore season, mostly showing his worth in coverage where he nabbed five interceptions and 11 passes defensed. He graded out as the league’s third-best linebacker that season, according to Pro Football Focus, out of 87 graded players at the position.

After two more injury-riddled years under Schwartz, Hicks spent three years in Arizona and two more in Minnesota. Since leaving Philadelphia in 2019, Hicks had mostly put his injury troubles behind him, starting every possible game until missing four this past year with a leg contusion. Despite the missed time due to injury, Hicks was still productive for the Vikings. Including his shortened 2023 season, Hicks has not totaled fewer than 107 total tackles since going to the Cardinals.

Minnesota has already made preparations for Hicks’ departure. Knowing that Hicks was likely on the move, the Vikings addressed the position by bringing in a younger free agent like Blake Cashman from Houston. Cashman should pair up with returning starter Ivan Pace to form the team’s new inside linebacker duo.

In Cleveland, Hicks arrives to fill some holes of his own after the Browns saw free agent linebackers Sione Takitaki and Anthony Walker sign with the Patriots and Dolphins, respectively. Hicks may have to compete with Jacob Phillips, but he should secure a starting position on the Browns defense alongside Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Phillips may be able to factor in as the team’s third starter, but it makes sense for Cleveland to continue to monitor the draft and free agency for at least one more potential linebacker addition.

Vikings Activate LB Jordan Hicks From IR, Waive LB Nick Vigil

Marking another step in his recovery process from a frightening injury situation, Jordan Hicks is set to return to the field. The veteran linebacker was activated from injured reserve by the Vikings on Saturday, per a team announcement.

Hicks returned to practice this week after recovering from emergency surgery brought about by a case of compartment syndrome. The injury caused a six-week absence and threatened to keep him out for the remainder of the campaign. Hicks is now in place to resume starting duties at the second level. Nick Vigil, who had filled in during Hicks’ absence, was waived to make room on the roster.

Minnesota has managed to stay in contention for a playoff spot despite injuries to the likes of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. Losing Hicks marked a blow to the team’s defense as well, though, given his importance to the unit. Despite the missed time, the 31-year-old still ranks third on the team in tackles with 87. Hicks has added one interception, one sack and a fumble returned for a touchdown in his second Vikings campaign.

The former third-rounder drew trade interest ahead of the deadline, but the Vikings opted against a seller’s stance. As a result, he remains in place to close out the campaign, something which will be a welcomed development for Minnesota’s defense. That unit in general, and defensive coordinator Brian Flores in particular, have drawn praise for their play (the closing stages of last week’s loss to the Bengals notwithstanding).

Hicks’ injury created a larger workload for Ivan Pace Jr. at the linebacker spot. The undrafted rookie has impressed during the year, but especially in recent games with at least nine tackles in each of the past four contests. He and Hicks will look to keep Minnesota’s playoff push alive as the 7-7 outfit prepares for the first of two games against the Lions within the final three weeks of the campaign. Vigil, meanwhile, will be available to sign with the Vikings or any other team if he clears waivers.

Vikings Designate OLB Jordan Hicks To Return From IR

After not missing a single game since 2018, Vikings outside linebacker Jordan Hicks has now missed the past four weeks of the season. Minnesota is hopeful that they will be able to start a new streak for Hicks after opening his 21-day practice window to come off of injured reserve today.

Hicks suffered a shin contusion in the team’s win over the Saints weeks ago and, as the game progressed, began feeling numbness and losing strength in his leg. The pain reportedly became excruciating, causing him to sweat profusely and lie in the fetal position, per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. Hicks underwent “emergency surgery” hours later and was subsequently placed on IR. Luckily, a successful surgery helped Hicks to avoid permanent damage in a situation that reportedly “often results in muscle loss or even amputation.”

Despite that, Hicks has been around the team, in the Vikings’ facility, attending meetings, rehabilitating. According to Seifert, defensive coordinator Brian Flores has expressed optimism that Hicks will be able to make a return this year, hence today’s designation.

If Hicks is able to make his comeback this year, it will provide a bit of a happy ending to what was a scary situation. If the Vikings hope to have Hicks in a potential playoff push and run, he will need to be activated with the next three weeks. Otherwise, we won’t see Hicks again until the 2024 season.

Vikings Place LB Jordan Hicks On IR

After undergoing leg surgery on Sunday, Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks is set to miss at least the next month. The Vikings announced that they’ve placed Hicks on injured reserve, meaning the veteran will be out until at least Week 15.

[RELATED: Vikings, LB Anthony Barr Agree To Deal]

Hicks briefly left Sunday’s game during the first quarter before returning and playing 23 defensive/special teams snaps. He left the game for good in the third quarter with what was described as a shin contusion.

Per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, Hicks’ knee swelled up after the game and necessitated a trip to the hospital. Doctors suggested immediate surgery after diagnosing Hicks with compartment syndrome, which is when swelling in a bruised area reaches “dangerous levels” (per Seifert). Hicks was released from the hospital today and posted an encouraging update on X.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me the past few days and for all of your continued prayers,” Hicks wrote. “The surgery was a huge success and I’m grateful for all of the doctors, nurses and medical staff who treated me. Looking forward to getting back out there with the guys soon!”

Hicks hadn’t missed a start since joining the Vikings prior to the 2022 campaign. After finishing his first season in Minnesota with 129 tackles, the 31-year-old collected 87 stops through 10 games this season. Seifert writes that undrafted rookie Ivan Pace Jr. is expected to take Hicks’ role on defense and should also inherit the defensive signal-caller role.

The Vikings also added some depth at the position yesterday. The team signed old friend Anthony Barr to the practice squad, and it shouldn’t take long for the veteran to find his way on to the 53-man roster.

Eagles Eyeing LB Addition?

The Eagles have already pulled off a pair of trades in the build-up to today’s deadline, but more could be coming from general manager Howie Roseman. Philadelphia has been active in gauging the market with a particular interest in linebacker help, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes.

That falls in line with reporting from the weekend which indicated the Eagles were on the lookout for help at the ILB spot. The reigning NFC champions lost both T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agency as part of their defensive exodus, leading to questions about both starter-level replacements and depth behind them. Philadelphia has relied primarily on Zach Cunningham, Nicholas Morrow and Nakobe Dean at the second level so far this season.

That trio has helped the Eagles post the league’s best run defense in 2023, a feat which of course is also a product of their stout defensive line. The latter unit lost a depth member yesterday when Kentavius Street was dealt to the Falcons, a much less signficant move than Philadelphia’s earlier addition of safety Kevin Byard to give a needed boost to the secondary. Adding a veteran linebacker to the mix would further aid what the NFC East leaders hope will be another deep postseason run.

Breer names Jordan Hicks (Vikings) and Josey Jewell (Broncos) as potential targets. Both players have been mentioned as trade candidates, given their statuses as rentals and their respective teams’ presumed stance as sellers at the deadline. Hicks in particular has been on the radar of contending teams for some time now, and his $3.25MM base salary checks in at a slightly lower rate than that of Jewell (although both Minnesota and Denver could retain portions of those figures, which would be prorated for an acquiring team).

The Eagles entered today with $3.38MM in cap space, enough to make a low-cost addition at the linebacker spot or another position of interest. Given Roseman’s propensity to make moves at areas of perceived need, it would come as no surprise if a trade were to be hammered out in the coming hours.

Vikings LB Jordan Hicks Drawing Trade Interest

The Vikings have been connected to plenty of trade talk centered on quarterback Kirk Cousins recently, but the team has a few defenders who could be attractive to interested teams. One of those is edge rusher Danielle Hunter, but another is inside linebacker Jordan Hicks.

The latter has drawn “outside interest,” per Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson. Hicks earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after the Vikings’ Week 6 win over the Bears, part of his strong performance so far this season. The 31-year-old has posted 53 tackles, one interception and a fumble return touchdown through six contests, proving his continued ability to fill the statsheet.

Hicks joined the Vikings on a two-year, $10MM pact last March after finding himself as a cap casualty of the Cardinals. He reworked his pact this past offseason to stay in Minnesota and move his 2023 salary to $3.25MM. An acquiring team would take on a prorated portion of that figure in any possible trade. Dealing him would create $3.5MM in cap space for the Vikings.

The former Eagles third-rounder has eclipsed 100 tackles in each of the past four seasons, and he has reached double-digits in that regard four times already this year. A resurgence in pass coverage relative to the past several campaigns has resulted in a standout 80.3 PFF grade, something which could add further to his value for contending teams. As Robinson notes, however, Hicks’ age, position and status as a rental would put a firm limit on the value the Vikings could receive in draft capital in a swap. As such, it would come as little surprise if they turned down offers.

The same may not be true for Hunter, who entered Week 7 with the league lead in sacks. Positional value would no doubt help Minnesota extract more draft assets in a trade involving Hunter, but Hicks’ play should have him firmly on the radar of teams in search of low-cost additions in the middle of their defense. Minnesota (2-4) has not committed to a seller’s stance in advance of the October 31 deadline despite their slow start and Justin Jefferson‘s absence, though, so it will be interesting to see how willing they could be to part ways with Hicks.

Restructure Details: Cousins, Bills, Cowboys, Saints, Warner, Jets, Texans

Facing a Kirk Cousins cap crunch last year, the Vikings worked out a third contract with their starting quarterback. They did not take that path this year. Minnesota instead agreed to a restructure, per’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The reworking frees up $16MM in cap space for the Vikings, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweets. The Vikes look to have tacked on two more void years to Cousins’ deal. While the void years — for cap-reducing purposes — run through 2027, Cousins’ contract expires after the 2023 season. No extension is imminent.

The 34-year-old passer has enjoyed leverage throughout his Vikings relationship — via his free agency in 2018, ahead of his 2020 contract year on that fully guaranteed deal, and in 2022 as his second Vikes pact was set to produce a historic cap hit — but Minnesota’s new regime may now be looking toward moving on after the season. This will be a situation to monitor moving forward; Cousins has not played in a contract year since his 2017 Washington finale.

Here is the latest on teams’ restructures:

  • The Bills moved close to the 2023 league year in a cap hole, but they restructured the deals of their two highest-profile players to create considerable space. Buffalo reworked Josh Allen and Von Miller‘s contracts to create approximately $32MM in space, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. The Bills have moved their way up past $8MM in cap room.
  • Per usual, the Saints have been hard at work on restructures. They adjusted the deals of Cameron Jordan, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore to create cap space, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Katherine Terrell (all Twitter links). The Jordan move created more than $10MM in cap space for New Orleans, which was back to being north of $20MM over the cap following its Derek Carr signing. As the league year begins, New Orleans made it under the cap by just more than $300K.
  • In addition to restructuring Tyron Smith‘s deal to ensure the All-Decade tackle plays a 13th season with the team, the Cowboys adjusted the contracts of DeMarcus Lawrence and Michael Gallup, Todd Archer of notes (Twitter links). Between them, the Lawrence and Gallup restructures freed up around $16MM for Dallas, which had already created more than $30MM in space by redoing Dak Prescott and Zack Martin‘s deals last week.
  • The 49ers restructured Fred Warner‘s extension, according to Yates (on Twitter). The move created nearly $9MM in cap space for San Francisco, which gave Javon Hargrave a four-year, $84MM deal to start the legal tampering period. A void year now exists in Warner’s contract, which runs through 2026 (with the void year coming in 2027). Warner’s cap number drops to $9MM but spikes past $24MM in 2024, which will probably prompt more maneuvering from the 49ers. They currently hold just more than $12MM in cap space.
  • Circling back to the Vikings, Jordan Hicks agreed to a restructure that will keep him in Minnesota this season,’s Adam Caplan tweets. Hicks signed a two-year, $10MM deal with the Vikings last year.
  • Amid their Aaron Rodgers pursuit, the Jets created $4.8MM in cap space by restructuring John Franklin-Myers‘ contract, Yates tweets. Two void years are attached to the defensive lineman’s pact, which runs through 2025.
  • Texans safety Eric Murray agreed to a restructured deal as well, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 notes. Attached to a two-year, $10MM deal he signed in 2022, Murray remains on a Texans team that has seen its roster become crowded at safety. The team has added Jimmie Ward and re-signed M.J. Stewart this week. Murray played 17 games for the Texans last season but did not start any. This sounds like a pay-cut agreement, with Wilson adding Murray can make up to $4MM this season.

Vikings To Sign LB Jordan Hicks

Not long after being made a Cardinals cap casualty, Jordan Hicks found a new home. The Vikings are signing the veteran linebacker, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.

Hicks has agreed to a two-year contract worth $10MM, Caplan adds, noting the deal includes $6.5MM guaranteed. Incentives can take the price up to $12MM. This will be Hicks’ third team; he has played every-down roles for his previous two (Philadelphia and Arizona).

The Cardinals allowed Hicks to seek a trade after they drafted Zaven Collins last year, but the team ended up keeping Hicks in his usual full-time role. Hicks played 97% of the Cards’ defensive snaps last season, starting in all 18 Arizona games. The Cards have drafted off-ball ‘backers in each of the past two first rounds (Collins and Isaiah Simmons), leaving them less needy of a veteran presence like Hicks, who is set for his age-30 season in 2022.

A Super Bowl LII starter with Philly, Hicks has also rebounded from his injury-plagued Eagles tenure. He did not miss a game in three Cardinals seasons. Hicks made 150 tackles in 2019 and surpassed 110 in each of his next two seasons, totaling 29 tackles for loss with Arizona.

The Vikings may be set to use him alongside Eric Kendricks. An eight-year Viking, Anthony Barr is a free agent. Minnesota is also starting over after eight seasons of Mike Zimmer leading its defense. Ed Donatell is now at the controls, and Minnesota is shifting to a 3-4 defense for the first time in decades.

Cardinals Release LB Jordan Hicks

After three seasons as a Cardinals starter, Jordan Hicks is back in free agency. Arizona is releasing the veteran linebacker, Adam Schefter of tweets. The Cards have since announced the move.

This move comes a year after Hicks landed in trade rumors, once the Cardinals added Zaven Collins as a first-round pick. Arizona went back-to-back with off-ball linebackers in Round 1 from 2020-21, and it will be Collins and Isaiah Simmons leading the group going forward.

Hicks should garner interest as a street free agent. He is a vested veteran and can sign with a team at any point going forward. This release will give the seven-year vet a chance to catch on elsewhere before the free agent market opens March 16. While Hicks will turn 30 this offseason, he did well to change his career trajectory in three Arizona seasons.

The former injury-prone Eagle stayed healthy as a Cardinal, playing in every game with his second NFL franchise. While the Cardinals gave Hicks permission to seek a trade shortly after selecting Collins in last year’s first round, Hicks logged his usual snap rate in 2021. He played 97% of Arizona’s defensive snaps last season, that coming after working on 92% of the team’s defensive plays in 2020 and 100% in 2019. Collins will surely see more run in 2022, after participating on just 20% of Arizona’s defensive plays last season.

Last season, Hicks racked up 116 tackles and registered a career-high four sacks. He finished with 29 tackles for loss in three seasons in the desert. The Cardinals will save $6.5MM by cutting Hicks, who had one year remaining on his contract. This doubles as the end of an obscure era as well, one that featured two Jordan Hickses affiliated with professional Cardinal franchises. The other, a St. Louis reliever, remains with his team.

NFC West Rumors: Hicks, Higbee, 49ers

One of two Cardinals linebackers mentioned in trade rumors this offseason, Jordan Hicks will join Chandler Jones in being with the team when it begins its season Sunday. The Cardinals gave Hicks permission to seek a trade in May, after drafting Zaven Collins in Round 1 and anointing him the starter alongside Isaiah Simmons. But nothing materialized. GM Steve Keim said Hicks, despite his demotion, will play “a strong role” on this year’s Arizona defense, via Darren Urban of Citing Simmons’ positional flexibility, Keim said there will be times when Simmons, Collins and Hicks line up together. The Cards have devoted considerable resources to their off-ball linebacker spots, drafting Simmons and Collins in the first round — after taking Haason Reddick in the 2017 first round and slotting him off the ball for most of his run — and signing Hicks to a four-year, $36MM deal in 2019. Hicks accepted a $3MM salary cut in March, and the 32-game Cardinal starter’s workload will certainly be reduced from the 100% and 92% defensive snap rates of the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Rams still reside near the bottom of the NFL in cap space, but they created some breathing room by restructuring Tyler Higbee‘s deal. The team added $1.65MM in space by moving some of Higbee’s base salary into a signing bonus, Lindsey Thiry of tweets. Prior to this move, the franchise held less than $1MM in cap room. Higbee signed a four-year, $31MM extension in 2019. This week’s move dropped his 2021 base salary to just more than $1MM.
  • Josh Norman is set to play a 10th NFL season and do so with a fourth team, having signed with the 49ers this week. However, Norman’s camp and the 49ers discussed a deal for months, the veteran cornerback said Friday (via KNBR). Norman, 33, has played with Carolina, Washington and Buffalo. He will join a 49ers team that was already thin at cornerback before listing Emmanuel Moseley as doubtful for Week 1. San Francisco has injury-prone Jason Verrett stationed as its other top outside corner. Norman, who has not returned to a Pro Bowl since his standout 2015 contract year, played 344 defensive snaps with the Bills last season.
  • The 49ers will begin their season without one of their assistant coaches. Linebackers coach Johnny Holland recently stepped away from the team due to a battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, Nick Wagoner of notes. This is the second time Holland has left the 49ers because of his cancer battle; he did so in 2019 after initially being diagnosed. The fifth-year 49ers assistant began treatment this week. Holland, 56, has been an NFL assistant for more than 20 years, beginning in 1995 with the Packers, for whom he played linebacker in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Holland has worked with Kyle Shanahan dating back to their days as Texans assistants in the 2000s.