One more time for old time’s sake:
“First we’re going to stop the run, and then we’re going to have some fun!”
Bill Belichick thought highly enough of Chandler Jones to trade up in the 2012 draft (yes, Bill trades UP sometimes), and Jones delivered with 36 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, and 9 passes defended in his 4 years in New England. Jones also was part of the 2014 Super Bowl team and brought the pass-rush heat that helped the Patriots defense not allow a second-half touchdown for almost the entire second half of the season. Oh, and he made the 2015 Pro Bowl too, playing some of his best ball right as his rookie deal was about to end...
And then Trader Bill shipped him out to Arizona last spring for a second-round draft pick and top-10 draft bust Jonathan Cooper. All Chandler Jones did in Arizona was exactly what he did in New England, logging 11 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in a season that went zero to nightmare really quickly for the Cardinals.
Jones got franchise-tagged in February, which already guaranteed him a paycheck of at least $14.6 million in 2017, and then less than two weeks later, the Cardinals look like they’re not messing around with keeping him around:
When Chandler Jones deal is signed, he'll make over $16M/season, ($83-$84M for 5 years) w/over $50M guar. Monster deal— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 8, 2017
Drinks on Chandler tonight!
You know who else got $50 million guaranteed and an average of $16 million a year? JJ Watt. Chandler doesn’t quite crack Von Miller money (6 years, $114.5 million), but he almost matches what Olivier Vernon got from the New York Giants last year...
...except that Vernon was a free agent last year, and presumably had half the league bidding against each other for his services. Jones was already set to play under the franchise tag next season, so the Cardinals weren’t bidding against anyone, just working on getting one of their best players paid. Apparently, their opinion of him is through the roof after just one season in red and white, and with good reason:
The only players with more sacks than Chandler Jones over the last 2 seasons are Khalil Mack and Von Miller pic.twitter.com/3tQzdVIvL2— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 8, 2017
There’s a few teams that are running the ship right now like if they don’t win a Super Bowl in the next season or two, the window is slamming shut, and Arizona certainly seems like that’s the attitude. Even with the 2016 season ending at a frustrating 7-8-1 record, Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald have one or maybe two shots left at a title run, and a Bruce Arians-coached team doesn’t win if they can’t make a quarterback’s life miserable with the pass-rush.
And now, congratulations to Chandler Jones on the well-deserved millions, and we return you to Dont’a Hightower Watch 2017.