Arizona Cardinals could use the franchise tag
Heading into an off season with 19 free agents, and a handful of key players, the Arizona Cardinals could use the franchise tag option
The Arizona Cardinals have not used the franchise tag option on a player since 2012. Arizona last used the tag on Defensive End Calais Campbell. Who just happens to be heading into free agency himself. With multiple players putting in quality seasons in Arizona, Steve Keim will have to consider using the franchise tag.
If Arizona is going to use the franchise tag, the question is who they would use it on? If you put a top 3, it’s Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson, and Chandler Jones. The three defensive starters who flourished the most this season, and will be looking to get a nice paycheck. The front office will have to decide who the Cardinals need to keep around.
” the Cardinals are seriously considering franchising a player, and it looks like they are going to use it on Chandler Jones”
Unfortunately for Jefferson, and Campbell, Chandler Jones will be receiving the tag. Jones in his first season with Arizona, has been a key part in the Cardinals pass rush success in 2016.
Bruce Arians has said Jones is “not going anywhere,” via Kyle Odegard of the team’s officials website. Arians said “If we have to, we’ll franchise him”
Franchising Jones would be a great move because he will likely be demanding a large contract. Pass rushers in their prime are hard to come by and Jones has put together double digit sack seasons the past 2 seasons and 3 times in his 5 year career.
Most importantly, this season Jones has teamed up with Linebacker Markus Golden. The 2 pass rushers have flourished while on the field together. Jones piled up 11 sacks and Golden 12.5. The Cardinals led the NFL in sacks with 48, 12 more than 2015.
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If the Cardinals want to make a run in 2017, keeping a pass rush that has a chemistry like Golden and Jones is a huge key. Jones has already said he wants to stay in Arizona. If the Cardinals do end up using the tag on Jones, it would be a smart decision.
Free agency begins in March 2017, we still have a couple months to find out what the Cardinals decision will be with their free agents. One thing we know for certain is the Cardinals are seriously considering franchising a player, and it looks like they are going to use it on Chandler Jones.