Cardinals Place Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag On OLB Chandler Jones

Following up on a pledge from earlier this month, the Arizona Cardinals have used the franchise tag to lock up pass rusher Chandler Jones. The franchise tag figure hasn't been finalized, but the tag for linebackers is expected to be around $15 million.

Even if that doesn't happen before now and the start of camp, the Cardinals will be happy to have Jones rushing the passer for at least one more year after making a trade for him before last season.

Jones has recorded at least 11 sacks in three of his last four seasons, and he helped the Cardinals lead the National Football League in total sacks in the 2016 regular season.

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It's unlikely that any team would express interest in Jones, however, given what it would cost.

The franchise tag move came as no surprise.

Jones is seen as one of the building blocks of a defense that remained one of the NFL's best last season despite some shaky scoring numbers.

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Arizona acquired Jones from the New England Patriots last March in exchange for a second-round pick and offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper. They'll be allowed to negotiate with the freshly minted 27-year-old until 4 p.m. ET on July 15. "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, and his people know that".

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. His presence alone helped Golden reach a career-high in sacks and defensive tackle Calais Campbell achieve eight sacks.

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