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Chandler Jones Rumors: Pro Bowl OLB Not Expected to Sign New Cardinals Contract in FA

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMarch 3, 2022

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Chandler Jones helped anchor the Arizona Cardinals defense for the past six years, but he is reportedly expected to go elsewhere as a free agent this offseason.

Josh Weinfuss of ESPN reported from the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday and suggested the outside linebacker likely will not return to the Cardinals for the 2022 campaign.

There is plenty to like about Jones' game. After all, he is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection who has consistently ranked among the league's best pass-rushers for much of his career.

He also played for the New England Patriots for his first four seasons in the NFL and helped them win a Super Bowl.

Jones finished the 2021 campaign with 41 tackles, 10.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and four passes defended while making the Pro Bowl.

However, five of those sacks came in the season-opening win over the Tennessee Titans, and he posted more than one sack in just a single game the rest of the year. Combine that with the fact that he was limited to just five games in 2020 and is 32 years old, and it starts to make more sense why the Cardinals may want to move on this offseason.

Jones also figures to command a significant amount of money as a free agent given his track record, and his best football may very well be behind him at this point.

Few players will bring quite as much of a high-risk and high-reward element to free agency as Jones this offseason considering he has seven seasons of double-digit sacks but also some worrisome trends the past couple of years.

It seems as if the Cardinals are not going to take that risk, although the playoff-tested veteran who led the league with 17 sacks in 2017 may very well make the difference for a contending defense elsewhere.            

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