Cardinals coach Bruce Arians made it widely known earlier this offseason that the team would use the franchise tag on pass-rusher Chandler Jones if they can’t come to an agreement on a long-term deal before the start of free agency. “Chandler’s not going anywhere because if we have to, we will franchise him,” Arians said, per the Cardinals’ official website.
During a radio appearance this week, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill reiterated that stance.
“We’re not going to mess around with that,” Bidwill said, referring to the possibility of not retaining Jones, per the team’s website. “He’s a great pass rusher, but if we can’t agree to terms that work for us, we’re just going to franchise him. His people know that.”
Jones was acquired from the New England Patriots last offseason in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick. He proceeded to have one of the best seasons of his career, recording 11 sacks and 66 quarterback pressures from his position as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker.
The franchise tag values for those positions will likely range from $14.5 million to $16.5 million, depending on whether Jones is designated as a defensive end or a linebacker. That range provides a starting point for potential negotiations on a long-term pact, so if they do eventually find common ground, it’d be reasonable to expect Jones’ average annual salary to fall somewhere around there.