Chandler Jones isn’t going anywhere. Coach Bruce Arians told reporters today that the team is willing to place the franchise tag on the star defensive end if they cannot agree on a long-term deal. The non-exclusive tag for defensive ends is expected to come in at $16.955MM.
Prior to the 2016 season, the Patriots shipped Jones to Arizona because they were unwilling to pay Jones major money via the franchise tag or in a new long-term deal. After trading a second-round pick for Jones (and former first-round pick Jonathan Cooper), the Cardinals have been widely expected to keep Jones no matter the cost.
The price for defensive ends keeps going up every year and Jones could eclipse the high watermark set by Giants DE Olivier Vernon last offseason. Vernon’s five-year, $85MM contract includes a $20MM signing bonus as part of his $40MM in full guarantees. The total guarantees in the deal add up to $52.5MM and will get locked in by March 2018. Jones is eight months younger than Vernon and all parties involved here know that he’s looking at a monster payday if he reaches the open market. That’s why the Cardinals won’t take any chances.
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