Chandler Jones (DE)

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals’ GM: “We’re Not Trading Patrick Peterson”

Reports yesterday suggested that the Cardinals had inquired on star Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who recently requested a trade. It’s difficult to know the extent of Arizona’s interest in Ramsey, but those rumors did reignite some chatter around the Cardinals’ own stud CB, Patrick Peterson.

Peterson, who is currently serving a six-game ban for violating the league’s PED policy, requested a trade in 2018, though he walked back that request in January 2019. But in April, reports of tension between P2 and the team surfaced again, and then Peterson was hit with the suspension.

Although the three-time First Team All-Pro said in July that he’d like to be a Cardinal for life, Arizona’s reported interest in Ramsey led to some speculation as to whether the Cards would part with Peterson. However, Arizona GM Steve Keim said during a radio appearance Friday morning that Peterson is not going anywhere.

“We’re not trading Pat and that’s something we’ve been very consistent with,” Keim said (via Darren Urban of “You always ask yourself, does a move make us better or worse? To lose someone like Pat Peterson would make us worse.”

Due to tampering considerations, Keim would not address the Ramsey situation. However, he said that the team’s decision to restructure Chandler Jones‘ contract had nothing to do with an impending move, as some believed. The club’s cap space had shrunk to less than $1MM, and the restructure was just about creating flexibility.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Inquire On Jalen Ramsey

The Cardinals might not be the leaders in the clubhouse for Jalen Ramsey, but they’re at least interested. The Cardinals don’t believe they’ll land the standout cornerback, but they did speak with the Jaguars about him, Adam Schefter of (on Twitter) hears. 

They also restructured the contract of linebacker Chandler Jones this week, Schefter hears, giving them an additional $4MM in cap flexibility this season. That’s money that could, in theory, be put towards acquiring Ramsey and giving him the top-of-the-market extension that he seeks.

Here’s where things stand on the Ramsey front: The Jaguars are asking two first-round picks in a trade, but clubs have yet to meet their asking price. So far, they’ve received offers of one first-round choice from two different clubs, and teams could up the ante as time moves on. Ramsey will be in uniform for the Jaguars’ Thursday night game against the Titans, but it sounds like the Jags are hoping to trade him on Friday. The Raiders are among the teams with interest in the standout corner and most of the league’s teams want him as well.

Schefter also passes along this interesting note, via Twitter – Earlier this week, one team reached out to the league office and asked whether Ramsey could play on Sunday for a new club after he played Thursday for Jacksonville. The league informed the team that Ramsey could not, as league rules restrict players to one game per week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Carr, Raiders, Peterson, Taylor

We learned earlier this morning that Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson has requested a trade, though the team wants to keep him. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Jackson, on his way to the team bus this morning, declined to comment on the report.

With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league (Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says many GMs expect there to be three to five “impactful” deals over the next 48 hours, offers a helpful primer, which includes a list of some of the most-discussed players on the market):

  • Albert Breer of TheMMQB says that the Raiders may not be done dealing just yet, though he does not expect the team to move Derek Carr (indeed, Adam Schefter of reported this morning that the Raiders have told Carr that he is the quarterback of the present and future). However, Oakland is open to moving Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley, though the Raiders are driving a “hard bargain” with teams interested in Conley.
  • Breer names a number of other players whose names we have not heard in recent rumblings but who could nonetheless be on the move: the PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix, the 49ersPierre Garcon and Jimmie Ward, the CardinalsChandler Jones, and the BroncosShane Ray and Brandon Marshall. Breers adds that San Francisco would need to get something “significant” to deal Ward. He also says that, while teams are certainly interested in Denver corners Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, he thinks it would be difficult for the team to trade either.
  • If they had elected to trade Patrick Peterson, La Canfora writes that the Cardinals could have received a bounty for him, and may have even landed multiple first-round picks (in fact, several teams were already prepared to offer a first- and second-rounder). JLC reports that Peterson was considered the “crown jewel” of the deadline, and given his attractive contract status, he may be the subject of renewed trade rumors during the offseason.
  • Breer also writes that the Browns are open to trading Tyrod Taylor, whose contract structure could make a deal feasible. Meanwhile, Tony Grossi of suggests that Cleveland GM John Dorsey may be trying to acquire wide receiver help (Twitter link).
  • The Bills remain unlikely to trade LeSean McCoy, per Schefter.
  • Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has demonstrated a proclivity for making trades, and Rich Cimini of says Maccagnan has been doing his due diligence on everyone, including big-name players. But while there is a sense that New York could swing a deal, the fact that the team is in a no-man’s land between buyer and seller, and the fact that the roster does not have many tradeable pieces, could make a trade difficult to pull off.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Kelly, Cardinals

Cliff Avril underwent disc surgery this week, and Pete Carroll confirmed (via Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times) the procedure went well. Avril will be out for the season, and previous reports indicated the longtime Seahawks defensive end’s career is in jeopardy. Avril, who said in October he wasn’t thinking retirement, sent out a tweet about his upcoming recovery process. Next season will be Avril’s age-32 slate. Michael Bennett said, via Loh, he talks to Avril daily and called his friend’s future “uncertain” as he prepares for a long recovery.

I think you want to be able to walk away from the game the way you want to walk away from the game. To suffer an injury of any magnitude, especially one where you could easily have been paralyzed, is something you have to be able to try to move forward past, and it’s a hard thing to do,” Bennett said. “It’s always devastating to lose a guy and not know his future.”

Here’s the latest from the NFC West.

  • Chip Kelly agreeing to become UCLA’s head coach helped save the 49ers money. The five-year, $23.3MM contract Kelly signed with UCLA will help offset what the 49ers owe him, Matt Maiocco of reports. The 49ers will save $7.5MM because of Kelly’s Bruins agreement, per Maiocco, adding the team would have owed its one-season coach approximately $14MM between 2018 and ’19. Now, UCLA will pay $7.5MM of that amount. “Chip did us a solid,” a 49ers source said, via Maiocco. Kelly signed a four-year, $24MM contract to become San Francisco’s head coach last year but was fired after a 2-14 campaign.
  • The Seahawks have yet to place Kam Chancellor on IR alongside Avril, and Brady Henderson of notes this might be because of the franchise’s cap situation. Seattle’s up against the salary ceiling presently at $84K, per OverTheCap, and by placing Chancellor on IR and replacing him with another player could create a tricky situation. Chancellor’s salary is guaranteed whether he’s on IR or the active roster. Henderson writes the Seahawks might not make this move until they need a roster spot. Given that five games remain in the regular season, that date appears likely to arrive soon.
  • Bruce Arians said earlier this week he could envision Blaine Gabbert being the Cardinals2018 starting quarterback if he keeps playing the way he’s fared since taking over. Arians doubled down on that claim later this week by saying (via Sirius XM radio, on Twitter) Gabbert is not a game manager and fits the Cardinals’ system “really well.” Arians added the veteran passer can “spin it” as well as anyone he’s coached. For reference, Arians has coached Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer. However, the straight-shooting coach is not known for doling out unwarranted praise. Palmer is under contract through 2018 but hasn’t made a decision about a return. Gabbert is a 2018 UFA.
  • Chandler Jones is having an All-Pro-caliber season, and the recently extended outside linebacker credits some of his improved production to being around 15 pounds lighter than last season, Darren Urban of notes. Urban notes Jones reported to Cardinals camp overweight last year and played between 270 and 275 pounds. He’s just under 260 now. The recently extended pass rusher has 12 sacks — one more than he recorded all of last season. That’s tied with 2016 teammate Calais Campbell for best in the league and 4.5 sacks off Simeon Rice‘s 18-year-old team record.

Contract Details: Jones, Gresham, Church

Let’s take a look at the details of some recently-signed contracts:

Extra Points: Lang, Jones, Jeffery, Cyprien

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • Free agent guard T.J. Lang will not be visiting the Broncos following the team’s signing of lineman Ronald Leary, tweets Mike Kliss of 9News. The second-best free agent interior lineman still has plenty of suitors, as he’s set to meet with the Lions and Seahawks. The Packers, his former team, also have interest.
  • Had the Cardinals not extended Chandler Jones, the pass rusher would have eaten up over $14MM of spending space as their franchise player in 2017. He’ll instead take up around $10MM of cap room in 2017, tweets Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
  • Alshon Jeffery‘s one-year, $14MM deal with the Eagles is the largest non-franchise tag one-year pact in NFL history, according to the NFL Media Research Group (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of Jeffery’s pact eclipsed Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s one-year, $12MM deal with the Jets.
  • The Jaguars didn’t make a contract offer to strong safety Jonathan Cyprien, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. After spending four seasons in Jacksonville, the 26-year-old joined the Titans on a four-year, $25MM contract.
  • The Rams‘ release of defensive end Eugene Sims came with a failed physical designation, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets. The 31-year-old was let go by the team early this morning.
  • Akeem Spence said the Buccaneers expressed interest in bringing him back next season, but the defensive tackle needs a “fresh start,” tweets ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. Spence ultimately inked a three-year, $10.5MM deal with the Lions.
  • Rudy Ford ran a 4.25 at today’s Auburn Pro Day, tweets agent Blake Baratz. The safety was told earlier this week that he wasn’t healthy enough to participate at the combine. Baratz declares Ford “the most underrated prospect in the draft.”