Franchise tagging Chandler Jones(?)

Posted by Darren Urban on January 2, 2017 – 1:49 pm

Bruce Arians, in his season-ending talk with the media Monday, covered a lot of subjects. Most talk about impending free agents was the nod to the team’s desire to bring most everyone back. In particular, though, Arians made clear unrestricted-free-agent-to-be Chandler Jones will be a Cardinal in 2017.

“Chandler’s not going anywhere because if we have to, we will franchise (tag) him,” Arians said.

(A quick refresher: If a team tags a player and he signs the tender, he is guaranteed a one-year salary an average of the top five salaries from the previous year at the position. A player can still sign an offer sheet with another team before he signs the tender, but if he leaves the new team would have to surrender two No. 1 picks and also has the chance to match the new offer.)

General Manager Steve Keim said weeks ago talks about a long-term deal are ongoing. Obviously, no deal is done yet. Free agency begins March 9, so that’s the time frame within which the two sides are negotiating before it comes to a tag. That the Cardinals would use the tag on Jones is no surprise at all; when Jones was acquired last March, he immediately became the most likely one to be tagged as a free agent.

Last year, the linebacker’s franchise tag was slightly north of $14.1 million. It should go up this season.

The Cardinals, including Jones, have 19 scheduled unrestricted free agents. Jones, who finished with 11 sacks this year as a Pro Bowl alternate, said he wants to remain with the Cardinals. Many of the current free-agents-to-be have said the same. The difference is that Jones might not have a huge choice in the matter, at least for 2017.


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49 Responses to “Franchise tagging Chandler Jones(?)”

  1. By 'ZonaFan89 on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Well now that the season is over, guess it’s time for Darren’s 8 months of scheduled vacation time… Must be a sweet life as an NFL beat writer!

  2. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Great news on DJ- hope he hasn’t compromised the knee as he goes into the future. Best news would be that the MCL will be a strong as ever. Like with concussions, once you get the first one, a person is more susceptible to getting another.

  3. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Add Diminick Rogers Cromartie to a list of Cardinals who have gone to the Giants to resurrect their careers. DRC, who used to get injured on every other play and couldn’t last the season, now plays with one of the best front 7’s in football and doesn’t get touched anymore. It leaves DRC free to gamble and win more than anytime in his career. Shades of Antrel Rolle.
    And not to forget the biggest Cards’ dog of all-time OJ Anderson. Anderson in his last year and a half with the Cards would “surrender” on plays without being hit. OJ goes on to the Giants with their very good OL and becomes a SB MVP.
    Can’t make this stuff up.

  4. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Belichick got rid of Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins and is now the favorite to win the upcoming SB.
    Under normal circumstances, Belichick’s evaluation would speak volumes about the Cards’ upcoming negotiations with Jones.
    But the Cards are a linebacker starved organization and that makes Jones a must have.
    But really, Jones is good but he’s not that good. He doesn’t dominate against good competition.
    Any port in a storm.

  5. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    OK. Anyone else feeling like that while Jones may have had a nice individual stat season, his presence was not a difference maker for the defense overall? I don’t want to hold a VERY disappointing season against HIM, but….it’s still a valid question, IMHO.

  6. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Noticed that Aaron Donald did not make the stat sheet- no tackles and no assists. Don’t know if Donald played much. But for all those swayed by stats, let’s extend the guy who blocked Donald.

  7. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    The Broncos have two great OLB in Miller and Ware, with Ray subbing in.

    The Cards have Jones and Golden, with Okafor subbing in. The difference between the Broncos and the Cards is the interior push from DTs and DEs.

    It is imperative the Cards resign Campbell. I am in hopes that Peters, Gunter, Mauro, and Nkemdichie increase their level of play next year. Peters, Gunter, and Mauro are good players — hopefully one or two of these guys will become great players next year, — If so, with our OLBs — the Cards will be dangerous in 2017.

  8. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply


    I didn’t follow Donald all day, but it appeared he was playing a lot of DE. I noticed several times he was lined up over our LT, Wetzel.

    I guess the rams thought they had a chance to beat him outside. Obviously not. This is why the rams are so bad. You take one of the best interior D lineman, who could line up against a rookie in his second game and you move him outside most of the time.

  9. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Best QB in College Football ??

    Sam Darnold, Freshman at USC. Ride Palmer for 2017 and 2018, then trade your entire draft in 2019 and 2020 for this kid.

    He is special. Very strong arm, great anticipation, can drop the ball into a bucket 50 yards down a sideline. just love this guy.

    Ju Ju Smith Shuester may stay at USC. Got to believe they are the favorite (or at least #2 behind Bama) in 2017.

  10. By CardsNation on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    I want to keep all the players on the current roster but I don’t think it’s possible. I hope Steve Keim becomes a magician.

  11. By dan on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Im just glas David Johnson dodged a major injury…….glad McDonald was there to push him forward.

  12. By Erik on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    I am for franchising Jones. I know that is a big chunk, but I am thinking a couple years down the road on this. Markus Golden is set to be a free agent in two years and he has become quite the player. What happens if Jones is already two years into a big deal? Would there be money for Golden when the time came? What a tough job to figure out all this salary cap stuff. It is so much easier on my Madden game.

  13. By Dynosoar on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply


    in the last post(blog) I may have been misunderstood. I have no problem with Floyd having a SB ring, I just don’t want it to be with the Patriots. I want the Patriots to lose in the playoffs. And no, I missed the Patriots game, I got to watch us on the computer and NYG, WAS on the telly. DRC looked awesome, but I’m a Cardinals fan and not a player fan. It’s not a right or wrong thing, it’s just me.

    I enjoy your posts and this exchange. Happy New Year.

  14. By Dynosoar on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    So who gets the franchise tag? Calais or Jones?

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Tag

    I don’t see any scenario where Calais gets the tag, even if Jones signs an extension.

  16. By Jeff Ambrose on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    When will you be posting your “Breaking down the Birds” roster analysis?

  17. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Jeff —

    RE: Roster

    Later today.

  18. By D on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Darren- when does the year end again for Keim to extend a RFA? I would think a Mauro or Fells could be done soon.

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: RFA

    Cards have until early March.

  20. By clssylssy on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Until the last few games of the season (contract and FA looming on the horizon), I have been underwhelmed with Chandler Jones and have felt that the competition with Marcus Golden was quite possibly what inspired him to kick it into gear, getting his stats up; wondered if he was one of the “selfish players” BA had referred to earlier. While I understand that the Cards feel they would be getting a bargain to rap him up to a longterm contract, Jones has not impressed as a team player until lately, and I would rather see him franchise tagged to see if he can develop into being more of a consistent playmaker/leader. With the emphasis on hard hitting, physical defenses, it’s always possible that somebody even better might come along either through the draft, a trade, or FA. Calais Campbell has been much more of a consistently disruptive player and has the size our D-line needs, plus is a proven team leader (former Captain), who I am hopeful we will be able to work something out with. He is also ranked among the top pass rushers in the NFL by those outside of Cardinal land.
    Actually, I like Golden better than Jones, and while it’s down the road a bit, would rather keep Golden rather than tie up money in a longterm deal with Jones (if having to make a choice). IMO, Swearinger has been the defensive MVP with his aggressiveness and passion that has seemed to light a fire that has permeated throughout the entire defense. If we could keep this fire burning and keep as many of these guys now that they’ve hit their grove we might be able to earn a ticket to that Big Dance in another year. This is where Keim will show just how good a salesman he is, as, IMO, we’d be better going with something that works than to gamble again on our expertise with the draft…try copying the blueprint of the Broncos, Seahawks, Raiders. etc. So many fans fail to look at the learning curve it takes for new players when coming to the Cardinals, particularly on offense, but also on defense, and believe that the draft is some kind of magic bullet that will cure our ills when the reality is that many of these college aces have never lined up NFL type formations. When the playbook is not complicated they are able to make the transition sooner but that is not the case here in Cardinal land.
    With many of the pieces potentially in place, it will be interesting to see what the offseason brings. Hopefully, we will have learned how important a good 0-line is, and can build a line that will allow Carson to operate at the level he is capable of. He is one tough guy and will be hard to replace. This draft class isn’t looking great for QBs and BA doesn’t seem to be any longer patient enough to work with somebody who isn’t at least paper trained. There’s been talks about various trades that could be promising.

  21. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    I really don’t understand this board sometimes.

    For the first time in many years we have a pair of edge rushers who can put pressure on the QB.

    Why would you not want to resign Jones?

    This is a passing league and to have two guys coming off the edge is what every team wants. Get a push in the middle , resign Swearinger, and a CB opposite Peterson , and it would be tough to throw on this team.

    With a good CB , who can press, a healthy Badger in the slot, and Swearinger on TEs, you will see Golden and Jones get even more sacks.

  22. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    I’m guessing the thumbs down on Darnold are from ASU fans.

    Sorry folks, USC has 3 great receivers and Darnold is the best QB in the nation. If JuJu comes back, it will be fun to watch them battle Bama’s defense in the championship game next season.

    Sorry sun devil fans.

  23. By clssylssy on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Interesting that PFF has graded Calais Campbell the #2 highest graded interior
    defender this season just behind Aaron Donald and ahead of Ndamukong Suh. I hope we can keep Calais and really don’t get all the negative grumbling on this thread about him. Will he want to get paid–of course, but, so will the others and I have a feeling he would be more open to working a team friendly deal than some of the others. Of course,we want to keep Chandler Jones but we can franchise tag him and watch him “prove it” next season. Seems a shame to dismantle the pass rush we so desperately sought, just as things are beginning to click. We may even see Robert Nkemdiche blossom over the off season!

  24. By texascard on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    If we pay a good press corner, healthy badger, keep swearinger with 44 and jones can we afford to pay campbell and keep enough offense to make a real playoff push? Not to metion upgrade sp. Teams. My knock on jones is that he seems to come up big when it doesnt matter. But i agree, we need him since there is not a comparable option. I just dont know if we can afford cc.

  25. By Big Ken on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, thank you for the FA breakdown. Always insightful.

  26. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply


    We have 39-44 million, depending on source and DWash being released. Cutting Branch, which I think is a must, saves roughly 4 more million.

    But that isn’t the end of it. 2018, the cards have 76 million while holding on to its core players (peterson Mathieu, Veldheer, Iupati, DJ Humphries, Palmer, and others)

    If Palmer leaves in 2018, we would have even more. A cap number of 92 million.

    Point is, if you sign Jones to 5 years 75 million. you could give him a signing bonus and bring down his cap number in 2017, and increase it in years to come. If you could lower the number to say 10-12 million in 2017, you could have as much as 38 million left in 2017.

    Bringing in a starting CB could come through the draft or FA. If you landed a Humprey or Tabor, you would have a lower cap hit, or if you signed Bouye ( 6-8 million ) or Gilmore (around 10 million) . Again, signing Gilmore to a 4 year 40 million, could be bonused out to 2018-19. Which means a CB could count around 5-7 million in 2017 bringing the cap to around 32 million.

    That brings us to safeties.I think Jefferson might walk. But Swearinger could be resigned to 3 years 15 million possibly. He did a great job the last couple weeks at SS.

    The FS spot could be Badger. It could be Miller. It could be both as Badger goes to the slot, Miller come in. The big question is, can the Failure in Progress keep playing like he has the last two weeks. If Bethel can step up and play the slot, Badger would stay in FS.

    That leaves 28 million.With LB to address. I think there are several good ILBs in this draft that I would consider. I think if you could resign Minter to something around 3 million, and resign Moore to low dollar deal and draft a LB, you are set there. So, we are at around 24 million.

    That leaves Dline. Really, it leaves Campbell. Resigning him would be tough. He is going to get something around 3 year 45 million by someone. If the cards want him, they can sign him. Again, you can push him contract into guarantees and bonus to bring his number to 10 million in 2017 and 20 million in 2018.

    You are sitting at 14 million. Here is where draft picks have to hit. I would love to draft Mike Williams and give us a big time receiver. I think in round two, you could land a solid guard or center that could start day one. Pocic, Elflien or Orlosky could be nice choices.

    You bring back Gresham and you are done.

  27. By Big Ken on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    @ JTDG I think Mike Williams is gone by the time the Cards pick at 13. 50/50 on Shuster-Smith turning pro. So then go defense in the first round?

  28. By Erik on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply


    I definitely think Jones should be back next year for what I feel will be one final push. At least with Fitz and Palmer on the team. I just wasn’t sure about keeping him long term. I was unaware of the cap space the Cardinals have going forward, though. That definitely changes my thinking on that matter. Good info, as always!

  29. By JTDG on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken,


    Yep, you are probably right. My only hope is there are several good pass rushers and I believe we could see two RBs go in top 10. Add in those CBs and someone good falls out of top 10.

    You are right about JuJu also. With that QB and that offense, he might return to make a run at a natl championship.

    So, defense would be next. Foster? The next best CB? For me, if Williams is gone and so is Humphrey and Tabor, look to trade down. Late one early two has some good ILBs , TEs, and interior lineman. If you could pick up an extra two by trading down, do it .

  30. By Big Ken on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply

    Definitely, early mock drafts reflect the Cardinals trading down.

  31. By RagingREDBirds on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t know why Arians is being given a pass for his poor play calling and game management this year! Why? I guess the 2013-15 seasons make fans want to let him get away with having such a predictable offense that the team seemed to always get out coached. Top D….48 sacks….Best CB…Best RB…good QB…Fitz leads the league in catches… 7 wins

  32. By JTDG on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply


    There is always a fine line between the coach calling plays and the players executing them.

    Example, I could see we have a team set up with a single high safety and run a receiver down the middle of the field allowing the outside guy to be one on one. I have a shot at a big play and wham, the QB is sacked or pressured before the play develops. Is that the coach or players?

    I do get the point regarding the stats above. But it goes to show, you cant have weak links and expect to win. You could shut down the other team and have a CB get beat twice (which happened in more than 1 game) and lose the game. You can run the ball well, but have no passing game because your receivers aren’t doing their job.

    There is so much that goes into a play, and even more that goes into a win, that it is tough to always pin it on the coach. Especially when you have glaring weaknesses in the players (ie, CB, receiver, oline, and special teams) 3 games were lost because we missed kicks. A kicker has to make those plays.

    With all that being said, it wasn’t BA and his coaching staffs best year. For instance, it took too long for him to adjust and start running more and using his TEs in the passing game. But eventually he did. I think the special teams were a mess and the way they held on to Butler is unexcusable. But I think he is a good enough coach to rebound in 2017.

    The question is, will he have glaring weaknesses again, or will Keim get him the players he needs to be successful?

  33. By mitchaz on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply


    I appreciate your FA signings under the salary cap post.

    The one point that may be moot is that Honey Badger has said and the coaches later conceded that playing FS does not cater to his strengths.

  34. By JTDG on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply


    Yes, I get that about Badger. That is why he would come down on the slot with 3 receivers. Or, if Bethel steps up, you can move Badger to SS and move Swearinger to FS.

    Point is, there are options for Tyrann. But his huge cap number requires him to be on the field. If you bring back Jefferson and Swearinger, Badger is only a slot CB , who isn’t on the field in 2 receiver sets. He needs to be a safety in those situations , and depending on who is that 3rd Cb or 3rd safety will depend on where he goes in Nickle. Say Bethel plays like the last two games, he might be my slot cb and Badger is SS.

  35. By RagingREDBirds on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply


    I agree with your thoughts. I am a BA fan like the rest of AZ. I just wish when talking about OL, WRs not named Fitz and Special Teams play as reasons for such a bad season that there could be a little talking about how all the deep routes and seven step drops got our QB killed. The 3rd and 2 yards was always a pass play. The fact that the color analyst is talking about how we always run when Fitz goes in motion to the slot. Just some old school put fat guys in the power formation and run the ball down hill.

  36. By clssylssy on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply

    You always make good points and of course, a coach’s play calling is only as good as the execution, however, my biggest complaint about Arians is his stubborness, and what has seemed to be his refusal to try anything new when the status quo wasn’t working. He has steadfastly refused to get our TEs involved in our offense as anything other than brute force muscle UNTIL we were down so badly with our receivers being out, that he was forced to get some big bodies besides Larry making plays and, viola, Greshem becomes a very successful substitute for #15, not just opening up lanes for our running game, but catching passes and making big plays as well!
    Then we have the Special Teams issues and it takes till the season is lost before any change is made? This years Cardinal roster was suppose to be our “Dream Team” on paper, and, I can’t help wondering, like RagingRedBirds, how much of our issues was to do with coaching (not just BA, but his people) or not having a GM who could diagnose our ills and make changes.
    The Redskins are very committed to the “win now” and made great strides by getting in a GM who has the resume to get the job done. They barely missed the playoffs with a 10-5-1 record (kinda like the Cards a few years back) and they immediately fired their entire defensive staff, going after the DC from the Panthers in an attempt to get them where they need to be in correcting a weakness. Do you think the Cards would ever do anything that “radical”? I believe BA has already gone on record as saying there would be no coaching changes except in the event Goodwin gets a HC gig.
    IMO, we seem stuck The “Dream Team” was only able to get it together after it didn’t really matter so, it’s obvious the talent was there. And, while, I do believe Keim failed to get us replacement players when we needed them, what is going to make next year any different? Where is the problem when you have everything you need and still can’t get the job done?

  37. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Why wouldn’t you want to re-sign Jones?

    I’m assuming I might be one of the people you are directing that question toward. And I certainly get that. I’m not saying we shouldn’t re-sign Jones OR that I don’t want them to re-sign Jones. I’m just wondering what it is going to take to get that done and what impact that will have on our ability to fill other needs. Yes, I’m being pretty general with that response, but…..doesn’t that matter?

    Again, a very general observation, but while Jones had a very impressive individual season, I didn’t see a tremendous OVERALL impact on the defense because he was here. He didn’t make us forget that the Honey Badger was never all there. He didn’t make our problems at CB go away. And the bottom line to it all was that we finished the season with a losing record.

    Yes, HE played very well – at times. There were other times when we didn’t even know he was there. Overall, our pass rush was improved but other players also stood out in that area. Did Jones play a role in that? Sure. But did other players also play a role in what Jones achieved? Yes. So…..

    Again, yes, I DO want to him to be re-signed. I don’t want us to have given up a 2nd round pick to have rented a player for one year ( which turned out to be a losing season ). And I didn’t think for a minute that was going to happen. But I DO need to know what the price tag on Jones is going to be.

    If it makes ya feel any better, I DO at this point support cutting Drew Stanton to create some money to make it happen! 🙂 I know we were on opposing sides of this last off-season, so I thought you might appreciate that!

  38. By JTDG on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Not much of an impact?

    Let me present it this way, how was the pass rush last year? Not good, right.
    What was it this year? Weren’t they the top, or one of the top in sacks?

    How much of that could be contributed to Jones? Did teams pay more attention to Jones , freeing up Golden and Campbell, giving them their best sack years .
    Got to believe Jones addition had something to do with that.

    Also, how many teams got the ball out quick because of the fear of the pass rush and the lack of talent at our CB and Slot Cb spots. I can think of Rams first game, Patriots, several others.

    Think of the Broncos defense. It wasn’t just Von miller and d ware, they had talib and Harris taking away those quick passes. Can’t have a great pass rush without some coverage guys. It is the same as blitzing, you have to cover to get home, and you have to get home to help coverage.

    Whether you draft a CB or sign one, jones will have a impact. Especially since Golden stepped up and now warrants attention. Keeping Campbell would help also. BTW, remember many thought Campbell was slowing down and he turns out one of his best years. Got to believe Jones had an impact on that.

  39. By JTDG on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Raging and clssy,

    All good points.

    Trust me, I was pointing out the pounding Palmer was taking. I was writing about using the TEs and run more. So I get it.

    But would we care if Palmer was standing in taking a hit while throwing a 40 yard pass to Floyd. The issue was, john brown got no separation and Floyd ran the wrong route half the time. I think BA kept calling the plays that should have been there and weren’t because of receivers. Or the whiffs that some lineman made allowed Palmer to get hit before the play set up.

    Lineman got to block and receivers got to run the routes and get open. Unfortunately, When they don’t , coaches can’t run their offenses effectively .

  40. By clssylssy on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Some times renting is the smart way to go, especially when the market is so unpredictable. As someone pointed out, new coaches often want their own guys, which makes me wonder what the point would be in tieing up players to mega contracts if the coaching landscape is going to change in the next few years?
    Also, I see where the Browns are going after Greg Williams (Arg) and wonder if bringing Ray Horton back in some capacity might not be a good move, although it seems that the Cards have an unwritten rule of never bringing anybody back once we have parted ways…still, Horton is from the same Steeler school as Arians and really turned our defense into something when he was here?

  41. By Scott H on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Our defense has been among the best in the league for the last few years, without Jones, yes? Yes, our PASS RUSH may have been better this year. But as an overall unit, they ended up being about as good as they were in 2015 / 2014 / 2013. Hence, my assessment that I do not believe the addition of Jones had a tremendous OVERALL impact.

    Yes, I get that our secondary was the primary culprit this year. Let’s hope that they keep Jones ( which they definitely will ), keep the fierce pass rush we had this, and address the back end so we are better there as well next year. If we can take the pass rush we had this year into next year, and get a lot better in the secondary…..this D could be the best we’ve seen! And that is a big step toward a return to the NFC title game. And beyond.

  42. By he knows on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    give C.J multiple year contract. I need him here

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