The Cardinals and Chandler Jones are finalizing a five-year extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Exact terms are not yet known and Rapoport only says that the deal is “going to be large.” Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets that the deal is expected to “come up a little short” of the five-year, $80MM deal Olivier Vernon received from the Giants last offseason. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that the defender will make over $16MM annually, which will translate to around $83MM or $84MM total. The reporter adds that Jones will make over $50MM in guaranteed money.
Arizona placed the franchise tag on Jones earlier this month, giving him a one-year, $14MM+ tender. Under the terms of the franchise tag rules, the two sides had until mid-July to work out an extension. However, with minimal cap space for the coming season and several key free agents in limbo, the Cardinals were eager to hammer out a cap-smoothing deal. It remains to be seen how much the team might be saving in 2017.
The Cardinals’ list of free agents currently includes defensive lineman Calais Campbell (ranked No. 9 on my Top 50 list of free agents), safety Tony Jefferson (No. 11), and linebacker Kevin Minter (No. 22). Other notable free agents include running backs Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington, and Stepfan Taylor, tight end Darren Fells, center A.Q. Shipley, cornerback Marcus Cooper, and safety D.J. Swearinger.
Jones is one of the league’s premier edge defenders. In his first year with Arizona, he racked up eleven sacks and graded out as the league’s No. 7 pass rusher, according to Pro Football Focus.
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