Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that while the Cardinals have confirmed their plans to franchise OLB Chandler Jones in the coming weeks, Arizona will try “really hard” to get a long-term extension right away, as opposed to allowing him to play out the year under the tag.
Garafolo adds that they’re hoping to have an agreement on an extension in place with Jones well in advance of the July 15th deadline to negotiate with franchised players.
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians confirmed over a month ago that Jones isn’t going anywhere and they will use their franchise tag on him if they can’t reach an agreement on a long-term deal.
“If we have to, we’ll franchise him,” Arians said, per Josh Weinfuss.
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, considering that multiple reports during the season said that the Cardinals were negotiating a blockbuster extension with Jones.
The franchise tag is projected to run the Cardinals $15.701 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season.
Jones, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2012. He played out his four-year, $8.173 million contract before the Patriots picked up his fifth-year option back in April of 2015.
The Patriots elected to trade Jones to the Cardinals during the offseason for G Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round pick. Jones will an unrestricted free agent next year.
In 2016, Jones appeared in all 16 games and recorded 49 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and three pass defenses for the Cardinals. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 7 edge rusher out of 109 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.