Arizona Cardinals and Chandler Jones Close to New Contract

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Chandler Jones and the Arizona Cardinals are finalizing a long-term contract

The Arizona Cardinals came into this off-season with a lot of questions. Free agency was set to potentially rob the team of several starters, especially on the defense. To this end, their first move was to use their franchise tag on linebacker and pass rusher Chandler Jones.

Jones was acquired via a trade with the New England Patriots in March of 2016. The move has certainly proven its worth. The Cardinals were 20th in the NFL in sacks in 2015, and 24th the year before that. With Jones on board, the Cardinals drastically improved, and led the league in sacks in 2016.

The franchise tag made sure Jones wouldn’t see the free agent market, where he was sure to have a number of suitors. However, the goal has always been to get him a long-term deal.

The pending extension, as reported by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, would be for five years, with the dollar amount not yet known. This has a number of positive impacts.

First of all, it keeps Jones in Arizona for the foreseeable future. The Cardinals made it clear keeping him was a priority, and with the possible changes on the defense, keeping the pass rush strong is important.

Secondly, getting Jones under contract should free up a little bit of room for other deals. The terms of the contract aren’t known at this time, but the team should be able to structure it so that there is a little more available cap room.

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Jones had 11 sacks in 2016, and is capable of even more. The Cardinals will likely have some new faces on defense in 2017, but Jones will be back. Based on this news, he should be terrorizing opposing quarterbacks as a Cardinal for several years to come.