Kliff Kingsbury expects Zaven Collins to start, won’t discuss possible Jordan Hicks trade

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When the Cardinals drafted linebacker Zaven Collins in the first round last month, General Manager Steve Keim said that the team sees him as a partner to Isaiah Simmons at inside linebacker.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed that’s the plan during a Friday press conference and that led to a question about linebacker Jordan Hicks‘ future with the team. A report this week indicated Hicks has been given permission to seek a trade with other teams, but Kingsbury wouldn’t confirm it.

“I’m going to keep the conversations between Jordan and I private out of respect for him,” Kingsbury said, via the team’s website. “He knows how we feel about him. One of the most respected players on our team and has been a great leader here. Just kind of leave it at that.”

For his part, Collins said that “nothing’s given, you’ve got to earn everything” in the NFL. Earning a starting spot would be even likelier if the Cardinals do deal Hicks in the near future.