Franchise Tag Placed on Chandler Jones

Alyssa BaileyFeb 28, 2017

The Arizona Cardinals officially placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones on Monday, his 27th birthday. The franchise tag figure hasn't been finalized, but the tag for linebackers is expected to be around $15 million.

The Arizona Cardinals will be paying Jones $14.6 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season if he agrees to play under the tag. If the two sides are unable to work out a long-term deal before the deadline, Jones and the Cardinals will not be allowed to negotiate a contract until after the 2017 season. If he receives an offer sheet from another team, the Cardinals can match it or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

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The franchise tag move came as no surprise. In his first season with the Cardinals, Jones proved his value, recording 11 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, 3 passes defensed, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Jones has 25.5 sacks over the past two seasons, third-most in the National Football League over that span.

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The Cardinals sent their 2016 second-round draft pick and offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper to the Patriots in exchange for Jones in March. Pro Football Focus ranked him seventh among all players with that distinction last season, and his ability to rush the passer or go into coverage makes him a devastating option on defense.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said earlier this month the team faces a delicate balance in retaining as many of their key free agents as possible but singled out Jones as the priority. His presence alone helped Golden reach a career-high in sacks and defensive tackle Calais Campbell achieve eight sacks.

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