Nine Arizona Cardinals have been named captains ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
The team announced the leadership group Wednesday, and the list includes three new captains for the team.
Receiver DeAndre Hopkins, defensive end J.J. Watt and center Rodney Hudson are new captains for this year. Hopkins was not a captain in his first season with Arizona, while Watt and Hudson are in their debut seasons with the Cardinals.
Returning captains from a year ago are quarterback Kyler Murray, left tackle D.J. Humphries, safety Budda Baker, linebacker Jordan Hicks, plus edge rushers Chandler Jones and Dennis Gardeck.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 8, 2021
This is Jones’ fourth year as a captain. It’s the second year of captainship for Murray, Humphries and Gardeck.
Baker was not initially a captain in 2020 but was promoted mid-year, after Jones went down with an injury.
Hicks, who was also a captain last year, is notable as he lost his starting middle linebacker job to 2021 first-round pick Zaven Collins. Hicks said he requested a trade this offseason upon learning he would not return to his starting role.
Jones also reportedly sought a trade as he enters a contract season. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, however, reported recently that Jones was all-in on playing for Arizona this year.
Players who were captains last year who are now gone include cornerback Patrick Peterson, who is now on the Minnesota Vikings, and receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has not joined a new team as he considers retirement.
Defensive tackle Corey Peters was also a captain last year. He remains on the team after re-signing this offseason.