Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
We have seen a few star players change teams during this hectic NFL offseason, and the movement may not be done just yet. Arizona Cardinals star pass rusher Chandler Jones has requested a trade, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that he’s unhappy with his contract and “future with the team.” The Cardinals don’t want to trade Jones and expect him to report to training camp this week, but anything could happen.
Jones has more sacks than any other player in the NFL since being selected with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Syracuse with 97. He played in just five games in 2020 due to injury, but his consistency when it comes to getting after the quarterback is incredible. From 2016-19, Jones has recorded 60 sacks — eight more than any other player! He turned 31 in February and is entering the final year of his contract, but there are surely teams out there who would love to acquire his services.
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During a recent taping of the “All Things Covered” podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, Jones’ former teammate said that he doesn’t think the three-time Pro Bowler will be traded, but wouldn’t be surprised if the right offer reached general manager Steve Keim’s desk. In fact, Peterson hopes his new team, the Minnesota Vikings, finds a way to acquire him.
“No doubt about it,” said Peterson. “I hope we trade for him. Because I need my guy.”
Jones has spent a total of five seasons in Arizona. During that time, he has been named an All-Pro twice, made the Pro Bowl twice and led the league in sacks in 2017 with 17. His 2019 campaign was one to be remembered as well, as he recorded a career-high 19 sacks and forced a whopping eight fumbles.
As CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has noted, Jones is vastly underpaid. His AAV of $16.5 million is tied for 14th among active pass rushers, per Spotrac. Peterson says he’s not surprised that the Cardinals haven’t taken care of one of their best players, and attributes it to the side of the ball he plays on.
“I’m not surprised,” said Peterson. “Because they always find a way to take care of the offensive guys. But I don’t know why defensive guys always get looked upon the way that they do in that organization. It’s just weird to me.”