The Arizona Cardinals and linebacker Chandler Jones have got a deal done, after all. A year after he was traded from the New England Patriots, Jones is now signed to a long-term contract in Arizona.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the deal will pay Jones $83 million over five years with $53 million guaranteed. The contract is comparable to the five-year, $85 million deal that Olivier Vernon received from the New York Giants a year ago that included $52.5 million guaranteed.
Jones, clearly the Cardinals’ top free agency priority, was franchised earlier this offseason before eventually signing the long-term contract. Rather than playing the upcoming season on a one-year contract, Jones now has a long-term deal, which is great for both parties. Arizona has a quality pass rusher locked up for the future, and Jones now doesn’t have to worry about money this season or for years to come.
Jones has blossomed into one of the NFL’s best pass rushers, already having generated 47 sacks in his first five seasons as a pro. In the linebacker’s inaugural Cardinals season, he added 11 sacks to his career total, just behind Arizona’s Markus Golden who added another 12.5.
He’s also developed a knack for forcing turnovers, with 14 forced fumbles in his career and four in 2016 alone. Jones will now look to add to his career success and shoot for his second Lombardi Trophy. (He won Super Bowl XLIX with the Patriots).
Adding the former first-round pick via trade was a huge score for the Cardinals, but the possibility of losing him in free agency was a risk that Arizona took on when making the deal. Now it’s time for the 27-year-old edge rusher to lead the Arizona defense into the future and help the Cardinals make another push for the Super Bowl.