The Arizona Cardinals’ 2021-2022 NFL season didn’t end the way they’d hoped but one of the big reasons they found so much success was defensive end, Chandler Jones.

Jones, who has been with the Cardinals since 2016 when he was traded from the New England Patriots, is coming off a season with 10.5 sacks and 41 tackles. He’s also had 71.5 sacks since 2016, the third-most of any NFL player over that time.

However, Jones doesn’t come cheap for the Cards. The star defender had a cap number of $20.176 million in 2021 and is entitled to a 20 percent raise next season, bringing that total up to $24.192 million. Arizona, dealing with cap issues and the need to restructure quarterback Kyler Murray’s contract, does not seem to have the ability or desire to meet that number.

Hence, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday that the team is not expected to use their franchise tag on the four-time Pro Bowler, which will essentially make him a free agent.

This doesn’t mean that Jones can’t or won’t re-sign with the Cardinals. However, given that he already came into this season feeling disrespected by the team, having skippered OTAs, minicamp, and the start of training camp, it’s hard to imagine he feels much better about the situation now.

Jones opened the 2021 season with a five-sack game against the Tennessee Titans in what was seen as a true “see what I can do” performance for the Cardinals. But now that Jones finds himself right back here again, one wonders if he even wants to remain with the team or if he’d prefer a fresh start somewhere where he feels appreciated.

The news about Jones certainly has a lot of NFL folks thinking about where he might end up playing next season.

[NFL.com]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.