After trading for him in the 2016 offseason, it looks like the Arizona Cardinals will retain the services of linebacker Chandler Jones for at least one more year.
The Cardinals announced Monday that they will place the franchise tag on Jones, a 2015 Pro Bowl selection who recorded 11 sacks in Arizona last season. The franchise tag allows each NFL team to sign one of their unrestricted free agents to a single-season contract.
The Cardinals became the first among all 32 NFL teams to use their franchise tag during the current offseason.
Monday also happens to be Jones' 27th birthday.
"Under the terms of the 'non-exclusive' franchise tag designation, the Cardinals can continue to negotiate a long-term contract with Jones through July 15," the Cardinals said in their statement announcing the move. "If he receives an offer sheet from another team, the Cardinals can match it or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation."
We've placed the franchise tag on @chanjones55.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) February 27, 2017
Jones' one-year deal will be worth about $14.6 million, according to NFL insider Albert Breer.
The move by the Cardinals is hardly a surprise, as coach Bruce Arians and team president Michael Bidwill said the Cards intended to retain Jones for another season.
The Cardinals sent their 2016 second-round draft pick and offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper to the Patriots in exchange for Jones in March. Jones was a 2015 Pro Bowl selection and won Super Bowl XLIX with New England.
Jones has recorded at least 11 sacks in three of his last four seasons, and he helped the Cardinals lead the NFL in total sacks in the 2016 regular season.
Coming off the highest-graded season of his career, Chandler Jones has received a non-exclusive franchise tag from the Arizona Cardinals. pic.twitter.com/2w79267ebY
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 27, 2017
How did Chandler Jones affect the Cardinals ability to generate pressure on the QB last season? In a word - greatly. pic.twitter.com/tzQkspVnzk
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 27, 2017