Chandler Jones will stick around another season in Arizona, and will be paid handsomely to do so in 2017:
We've placed the franchise tag on @chanjones55.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) February 27, 2017
Arizona became the first team to use the Franchise tag in 2017, handing it to Jones – one of the game’s premier pass rushers. Jones has 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons, Khalil Mack of the Raiders (26) and Von Miller of the Broncos (24.5) are the only players who have more in the same time span.
The two sides have until mid-July to come to a long-term extension. If they don’t, Jones will play 2017 under the tag and would make a projected $15.3 million as a linebacker. You can see the projected Franchise tag values here.
By placing the non-exclusive tag on Jones, he is still free to seek contracts from other teams. Under the non-exclusive tag, the Cardinals have the right to match any offer, but could let Jones leave and receive a pair of first-round picks from the team that signs him away.
Jones was a first-round pick (21st overall) by the New England Patriots in 2012 and was selected two spots after the Chicago Bears drafted Shea McClellin. The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Jones has been a defensive force since his arrival with three double-digit sack seasons in his first five years. He was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and was dealt from New England in exchange for the Cardinals’ second-round pick in 2016 (used to draft cornerback Vonn Bell, who was subsequently traded to the Saints) and guard Jonathan Cooper (who was waived by the Patriots in Oct. 2016, claimed by the Browns, then waived in December before signing with the Cowboys in January).
There wasn’t much on the news or rumor front with regards to the Franchise Tag until it was reported that the Bears wouldn’t use the Franchise tag to retain Alshon Jeffery’s services for another season. We’ll see more news on the Franchise front in the coming days, with Wednesday’s deadline looming. In turn, the free agent market will continue to take shape.