Cardinals use franchise tag on Jones

By Kirstie Chiappelli 27 February 2017
Cardinals use franchise tag on Jones

The NFL's first franchise tag of the offseason goes to Chandler Jones.

The Arizona Cardinals had pledged to make the outside linebacker a top priority and followed through on Monday when they tagged the Pro Bowler to prevent him from hitting the free-agent market.

Jones' tag is reportedly expected to be worth roughly $14.6 million. He finished with 11 sacks last year in his first season with the Cardinals.

The 27-year-old, who was selected by New England Patriots in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, was dealt to Arizona last March for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick in last year's draft.

Jones recorded a career-high 12 1/2 sacks in 2015 to earn his first Pro Bowl berth, but had an off-field incident involving synthetic marijuana that led him to be hospitalised ahead of the Patriots' playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Carolina Panthers followed suit shortly after the Cardinals and applied their franchise tag to defensive tackle Kawann Short.

The Pro Bowler's rookie contract was set to expire in March, but he earned a new deal after leading the team with 11 sacks in 16 starts last season to set a franchise record for sacks by a defensive tackle.

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Kirstie Chiappelli

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