The Cardinals placed the franchise tag on edge rusher Chandler Jones last week, but the two sides are now discussing a deal that would keep Jones in the desert for the long haul, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report.
Jones is already set to earn north of $14MM under the terms of the franchise tender, but the 27-year-old now has until July 15 to hammer out an extension with the Cardinals. The tag was always seen as the likely outcome between Arizona and Jones, as team management indicated — essentially from the day Jones was acquired from the Patriots — that he wouldn’t be allowed to hit the open market.
A long-term deal, however, would not only give Jones financial security for the long term, but would likely lower his 2017 cap charge, a key factor for the relatively cash-strapped Cardinals. Although they’e already re-signed tight end Jermaine Gresham, the Cards are still hoping to retain critical defenders such as Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson, and Kevin Minter, all of whom are unrestricted free agents.
Jones, whom Arizona picked up from New England in exchange for a second-round pick, posted an excellent first campaign with the Cardinals, racking up 11 sacks and grading as the league’s No. 7 pass rusher, per Pro Football Focus.
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