The Arizona Cardinals have decided to use their franchise tag on pass rusher Chandler Jones. The Cardinals acquired Jones from the New England Patriots in a trade before last season, and he’s played well for them, registering 11 sacks. That’s as many as defensive player of the year, Khalil Mack had this season.
Arizona Cardinals Use Franchise Tag on Chandler Jones
By giving Chandler Jones the franchise tag, they’ve basically signed him to a one year extension. This year, Jones is currently set to make almost $16 million dollars. This would make him the second highest paid defensive end, behind Olivier Vernon of the New York Giants.
Last season, the Arizona Cardinals went from Super Bowl contenders to wild card rejects, winning only seven games. This is due in big part to the health issues of head coach Bruce Arians, as well as the aging of Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. On offense, the only thing the Cardinals really had going for them was the phenomenal David Johnson.
Defensively, the Arizona Cardinals were as good as ever. They gave up the second fewest yards in the NFL, and they led the league in sacks. This was due in no small part to the play of Chandler Jones. With Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson set to hit free agency as well, the Cardinals had to pick which player they’d be bringing back.
Ultimately, the Cardinals probably didn’t have to think very hard about this. Campbell is already 30 years old, and Jefferson has played his way into a big contract with another team. Chandler Jones is only 27 years old, and joins Mack and Denver’s Von Miller as the only players to have at least ten sacks over the last two seasons. If the Cardinals were going to stay competitive in the NFC West, they couldn’t afford to let Jones go.
Hopefully this means the Cardinals and Jones can come to terms on a longer extension before his contract expires again. With Fitzgerald and Palmer likely retiring soon, the Cardinals will have no shortage of cap space in the near future.