Teams use the threat of the franchise tag as a negotiating tool, and the Cardinals have made it clear how they’re dealing with potential free agent pass-rusher Chandler Jones.
Via the team’s official website, team president Michael Bidwill said during an appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7 that Chandler Jones would either be tagged or get a new long-term deal.
“We’re not going to mess around with that,” Bidwill said. “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.”
Coach Bruce Arians made similar remarks the day after the season, and it only makes sense.
The Cardinals traded a second-round pick and disappointing former top-10 pick Jonathan Cooper to the Patriots for a year of Jones, so they wanted to make sure he just wasn’t a rental. Jones had 11.0 sacks last year, establishing himself as a priority.
The Cards also working on deals with defensive lineman Calais Campbell and safety Tony Jefferson, but they proceed with the knowledge that the market awaits, something Jones can’t comfort himself with.