Cardinals aren’t getting what they need from Chandler Jones
By Jim Koch
Following an incredible performance in Week 1, Arizona Cardinals edge-rusher Chandler Jones has contributed very little in recent weeks.
Throughout the 2021 offseason, the Arizona Cardinals front office balked at the idea of ironing out a contract extension for Chandler Jones. Many believed that the superstar edge-rusher deserved a new deal, but it now appears as if management’s refusal to extend Jones may be well-warranted.
Over the past three weeks, the 31-year-old Jones has done very little for the Cards’ defense. That’s hugely disappointing when you consider that the three-time Pro Bowler was virtually unstoppable during the club’s Week 1 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Jones totaled five sacks that day, and he was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance.
Jones has been credited with just three tackles in Arizona’s three games since, and he has been completely shut out in two of the matchups. Even more alarming is the fact that the squad’s premier pass-rusher has not registered a single sack since his marvelous outing against Tennessee.
Chandler Jones must produce to earn an extension from the Arizona Cardinals
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jones made Cardinals general manager Steve Keim look a bit silly during the campaign’s opening weekend. Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan, a three-time Pro Bowler, was totally manhandled by the former New England Patriots draft pick. The sky appeared to be the limit for Jones following the Redbirds’ dominating triumph, but the nosedive in his play could ultimately affect his future in the desert.
According to his agent, the Cards offered just a one-year extension to Jones right before training camp. The base salary next season ($14 million) would’ve actually been less than the $15.5 million that the veteran is making this year.
Arizona’s “lowball” offer was insulting to both Jones and his agent, Ethan Lock. The player got extremely upset with the situation, and he asked Keim to trade him. Apparently, the Cardinals never even considered Jones’ request.
Perhaps Jones can do enough over the final 13 games to convince the Cards that he deserves a new contract. Keim and his cohorts, not to mention defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, would love nothing more. If not, there’s a fairly good possibility that Jones will be wearing a different uniform in 2022.