Hicks, 29, played at a high level last season, registering 116 tackles and four sacks, but the Cardinals are making the move to give fellow inside linebacker Zaven Collins, drafted in the first round last year, more playing time.
The Cardinals had told Collins he would be the starter last season after selecting him 16th overall. Hicks said last year he was “pissed off” when initially told he had lost his starting job to Collins. He requested a trade, which never materialized, and the seven-year veteran ended up starting all 17 games.
By getting released now, Hicks will be able to sign with another team before free agency officially begins next week. The move will save the Cardinals $6.5 million on their salary cap but also will leave $3 million in dead money on their books.
Hicks signed with the Cardinals in 2019 and posted more than 100 tackles in all three seasons with Arizona, including a career-best 150 his first year there.
He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft. He missed 21 regular-season games due to a variety of injuries during his time with the Eagles but didn’t miss a game (all starts) in three seasons with the Cardinals.
Hicks has career numbers of 638 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions.