Cardinals decline fifth-year option on LB Zaven Collins' contract

The Cardinals will decline the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Zaven Collins' contract, General Manager Monti Ossenfort told Arizona Sports on Tuesday.

The move is not a surprise considering it would have guaranteed Collins $13.2 million.

“We’ve talked a lot about it here the last couple weeks. We’re not going to pick up the fifth-year option on Zaven,” Ossenfort told Arizona Sports. “We’ve had discussions with Zaven. We’re extremely happy with where he’s at and the versatility that he brings to the defense. We want to keep Zaven around here, it’s just the fifth-year option removes some flexibility in terms of the cap that comes along.

“We’re going to have some discussions here as we go. Love Zaven; love where he’s at; love what he brings to our defense, and hopefully we can keep him around here for a long time.”

Collins now is scheduled for free agency after this season.

The Cardinals drafted him 16th overall in 2021, and he began his NFL career at inside linebacker before the new regime moved him outside in 2023.

Collins totaled 3.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, an interception, three passes defensed and six quarterback hits in 17 games last season.