Cardinals HC Bruce Arians told reporters on Monday that impending free agent OLB Chandler 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.
Jones, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Cardinals 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 has 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 113 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 30 – 2017 Free Agents list.