Chandler Jones (DE)

Cardinals Rule Out J.J. Watt For Week 8

The Packers will not be the only ones missing key personnel for Thursday night’s NFC showdown. The Cardinals will be without J.J. Watt. Arizona ruled out Watt with a shoulder injury. Watt did not practice this week.

Watt has thus far delivered on the big-ticket deal he signed to relocate to Arizona, helping the Cardinals to their first 7-0 start since 1974 and playing a central role in the team ranking in the top five in scoring and total defense. The 32-year-old defender has played inside and outside for the Cardinals, who signed him to a two-year, $28MM deal this offseason. Pro Football Focus ranks Watt as a top-10 interior D-lineman through seven games.

But injuries have certainly been an issue for the all-time great. Another one will sideline him for the Cards’ Week 8 tilt. Injuries in 2016 and ’17 interrupted Watt’s stratospheric pace, and although the three-time Defensive Player of the Year returned to an All-Pro level in 2018, the former Texans superstar missed a chunk of the 2019 season as well. From 2016-19, Watt missed 32 games. Thursday will be his first absence since that 2019 season, however.

Arizona will have Chandler Jones back after he spent the past two weeks on their reserve/COVID-19 list. The team activated Jones and defensive lineman Zach Allen from the virus list.

Green Bay will be down Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, with both landing on the team’s COVID list. The Packers could activate All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, who returned to practice last week. Giving the veteran blocker an extra 10 days to come off the PUP list would make sense as well.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/25/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Claimed off waivers: QB Reid Sinnett (from Dolphins)
  • Waived: LS Rick Lovato

San Francisco 49ers

Cardinals, Chandler Jones Have Not Talked Extension Since July

In Week 1 of the 2021 season, Cardinals pass rusher Chandler Jones did everything in his power to prove to the world that he still has plenty of gas left in the thank. The 31-year-old battered the Titans’ O-line for a whopping five sacks and two forced fumbles, thereby announcing a full and triumphant return from a biceps tear that ended his 2020 campaign prematurely.

Of course, 2021 is the final year of Jones’ current contract, and Arizona’s apparent unwillingness to give him a new deal has been bothering him since at least the 2020 offseason. He skipped minicamp and even requested a trade this year in an effort to force the issue, but the Cardinals (understandably) did not want to grant his trade request. GM Steve Keim did indicate earlier this month that he would continue discussing the matter with Jones’ agent and that he would like Jones to finish his career in the desert.

However, it does not sound like Keim is willing to make anything close to the type of commitment that Jones wants. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Cardinals have only offered a one-year extension at this point, and that proposal included a $14MM base salary for 2022, plus $1.5MM in incentives. It included a meager $4.5MM in fully-guaranteed money, and given that Jones’ 2021 pay of $15.5MM is already a below-market rate, Jones was quick to reject the offer.

Jones’ agent, Ethan Lock, went on to say that the Cardinals’ proposal was made in July, and that there have been no talks since.

“The July 21 offer, the only one [the Cardinals] have made to date, was rejected without hesitation,” Lock said. “Since then, I have read that the parties are continuing to talk about an extension – that is incorrect. There have been no talks. None. In fact, the Cardinals have not engaged in any meaningful negotiations about extending Chandler during this entire period.”

Obviously, Jones is not going to post five sacks every game. But if he continues performing at close to his usual Pro Bowl level, Keim will have a tough decision to make, and he can expect plenty of phone calls from rival clubs as we get closer to the trade deadline.

Cardinals’ Chandler Jones Confirms Trade Request

Chandler Jones acknowledged his offseason trade request while chatting with reporters on Wednesday (Twitter link via Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic). However, the Cardinals defensive end says that he’s keeping his mind off of any contract issues and letting his agent handle matters. 

Jones asked Arizona to deal him sometime in July. As it stands, the 31-year-old has one year and $15.5MM to go on his contract. He wants a new deal now — not in the spring — to cover the remainder of his prime and perhaps some post-prime seasons.

A short-term deal in the $20MM AAV neighborhood could make sense for both sides. At the same time, he doesn’t have a ton of leverage after losing much of 2020 to a biceps injury. In his five games, he registered eleven tackles, one sack, and seven QB hits. On the whole, he didn’t look like his usual self, even while healthy.

The Cardinals’ previous refusal to trade Jones signals a desire to stay the course with the three-time Pro Bowler. But, if talks do not progress in the coming weeks, he could be a potential trade candidate before the deadline.

Jones, winding down his five-year, $82.5MM deal, averaged 15 sacks per season across his first four years (2016-2019) in Arizona.

Cardinals, Chandler Jones To Discuss Deal

Just a couple of months ago, Chandler Jones was looking for a trade to take him out of Arizona. Now, Cardinals GM Steve Keim says he’s looking to keep the standout edge rusher beyond 2021. 

Well, he’s coming off the injury and obviously there’s no secret there, but I think that’s one of those things that we’ll continue to have one-on-one talks with him and his agent,” Keim said (via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic). “I don’t do those things publicly, but Chandler is a guy we love, he has the respect of the guys in the locker room, and he’s a guy I personally would like to see finish as a Cardinal. But you know how this business works. It’s not always that easy.

As it stands, Jones is set for one more year, a base salary of $15.5MM, and a cap figure of $20.2MM. Jones flirted with a holdout during minicamp in June and, in late July, he pushed the front office for a trade.

The Cardinals acquired Jones from the Patriots in 2016 and furnished him with a five-year, $82.5MM deal in 2017. During his first four seasons in Arizona, Jones didn’t miss a game while averaging 15 sacks per season. He appeared in the first five games of 2020, collecting 11 tackles, one sack, and seven QB hits. However, a torn bicep forced him to miss the rest of the season. That didn’t help his leverage, but the Cardinals would like to keep the 31-year-old — at the right price.

Chandler Jones Requested Trade

Cardinals star pass rusher Chandler Jones requested a trade this offseason, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Jones is said to be unhappy with his contract situation — which has apparently been the case for a while now — and while the club expects him to report to camp, it remains a situation worth monitoring. 

Jones flirted with a holdout during minicamp in June, putting pressure on the front office for a new pact. Still, his decision took many by surprise, given his track record of showing up to practice and participating in all of the offseason’s voluntary work. Jones, 31, is currently set to enter the final year of his contract. As it stands, he’s scheduled to make $15.5MM. Given his age, he won’t beat Joey Bosa‘s five-year, $135MM re-up, but a shorter deal in the $20MM AAV neighborhood would make sense.

The Cardinals do not want to trade Jones, Fowler hears. Still, the three-time Pro Bowler is sending a clear message — he won’t be a happy camper unless the team pays him what he’s worth.

After acquiring him from the Patriots in 2016, the Cardinals gave Jones a five-year, $82.5MM deal in 2017. During his first four seasons in Arizona, Jones didn’t miss a game while averaging 15 sacks per season. He appeared in the first five games of 2020, collecting 11 tackles, one sack, and seven QB hits. However, a torn bicep forced him to miss the rest of the season. That didn’t help his leverage, but he’s doing a good job to try and recoup some of it this summer.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Cardinals LB Chandler Jones Skipping Minicamp

The Cardinals kicked off their mandatory three-day minicamp today, but one of their top players wasn’t in attendance. Darren Urban of the team’s website reports that Chandler Jones was a no-show at practice today. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Jones (along with linebacker Jordan Hicks) isn’t expected to be in attendance at all this week.

[RELATED: Cardinals Give Jordan Hicks Permission To Seek Trade]

“We’ve been in communication with both guys, we know the situations and I’ll leave that dialogue between us,” Kingsbury said. “Nothing else to report on that.”

It’s not too difficult to connect the dots here. Jones is entering the final year of his contract, and the 31-year-old is likely putting some pressure on the front office as he pursues a new pact. As Urban notes, the veteran’s absence is especially notable since Jones had earned a reputation of “a player who showed up to everything in the offseason, including all voluntary work.”

Fortunately, Jones was in attendance during Monday’s media day, so the three-time Pro Bowler clearly doesn’t expect his pseudo-holdout to get out of hand.

Jones was traded to Arizona from the Patriots in 2016, and the Cardinals gave him a five-year, $82.5MM deal a year later. During his first four seasons in Arizona, Jones didn’t miss a game while averaging 15 sacks per season. He appeared in the first five games of 2020, collecting 11 tackles, one sack, and seven QB hits. However, a torn bicep forced him to miss the rest of the season.

Cardinals’ Chandler Jones Done For Year

Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones is done for the year, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Jones was hoping to avoid it, but he’s now set to undergo season-ending biceps surgery. 

Jones, 30, managed 19 sacks in 2019 and led the league with eight forced fumbles. A first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2012, Jones hasn’t missed a game since joining the Cardinals in 2016. Before the injury, Jones started a perfect 69 games in a row. That streak is now over — ditto for his run of four straight seasons with at least eleven sacks.

Arizona is above .500 and in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, but two of their three wins have come against the likes of the Washington Football Team and the Jets. They’ve looked bad in their two losses to the Lions and Panthers, and reserves like Jordan Phillips won’t be able to replace Jones’ production.

Jones was hoping to start extension talks with the Cardinals sometime soon, but those discussions will be tabled for a while. The veteran, 31 in February, is under contract for 2021 with a $15.5MM base salary.

The Cardinals – sans Jones – will face the Cowboys on Monday night.

Cardinals’ Chandler Jones Likely Done For Year?

The Cardinals snapped a two-game skid to improve to 3-2, but they’ll be without a key piece of the defense moving forward. Defensive end Chandler Jones suffered a biceps injury during the win over the Jets, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged after the game that it was “probably” season-ending.

That would indicate the team believes it’s a biceps tear. A first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2012, Jones has consistently been one of the league’s better pass-rushers in recent years. Arizona’s defense has been up and down, and the defensive front isn’t exactly overflowing with talent outside of Jones. Guys like Jordan Phillips, who has two sacks in four games, will be leaned on even more heavily to get pressure.

Jones came to the desert in a 2016 trade, and he hasn’t missed a game since. He started a perfect 69 games in a row for the Cardinals, but that streak will come to an end now. He’s had at least 11 sacks in each of his four seasons with Arizona, and he had 19 last year.

Arizona is above .500 and in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, but skeptics would be inclined to point out two of their three wins have come against Washington and the Jets. They’ve looked bad in their two losses to the Lions and Panthers, and have been anything but steady. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has his work cut out for him now.

As for Jones’ financial situation, he’s under contract through the 2021 season. Interestingly we just heard a couple of weeks ago that there had been no extension talks between the two sides, to the surprise of some rival executives. Jones will turn 31 in February, and it’ll be interesting to see what effect this injury has on contract discussions this offseason.

Cardinals Haven’t Discussed Extension For Chandler Jones

Teams are generally reluctant to discuss extensions for players who have multiple years remaining on their existing deals because it could encourage other players on the roster to demand a new deal before the club is prepared to give them one. The people introduce the Cardinals as Exhibit “A.”

Arizona recently finalized a two-year extension with star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, even though Hopkins was already under club control for three more seasons. But according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the team has made no effort to rework Chandler Jones‘ deal, despite Jones’ continued excellence both on and off the field.

Jones is under contract through the 2021 season, but rival execs still believe it’s unusual that the Cardinals have not at least explored an extension. After all, Jones has been arguably the league’s best pass rusher since Arizona acquired him from the Patriots in March 2016, and the 60 sacks that he posted from 2016-19 are eight more than anyone else in the league during that span. The extension he signed in March 2017 will pay him a $16MM salary this year and a $15.5MM salary next season, but those payouts pale in comparison to the $25-$27MM AAVs that players like Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett recently pulled down from their clubs.

Jones, 30, is not the type of player to publicly voice his displeasure, but La Canfora says his contract situation has been “festering” all offseason. The fact that Hopkins got a new deal before ever playing a snap for the Cards certainly didn’t help matters, and it didn’t go unnoticed in the locker room. Though his age may prevent him from getting Bosa or Garrett money, Jones is certainly due for a pay bump, and it will be interesting to see if GM Steve Keim starts thinking about one before the end of the season.

We recently heard that the club has not engaged in any substantive contract talks with cornerback Patrick Peterson, and La Canfora confirms that report. Peterson, though, is playing out his contract year and is eligible for free agency in 2021.