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Arizona Cardinals don’t use franchise tag on Chandler Jones, per report

The Cardinals will let their top pass rusher explore free agency in 2022

Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium on December 13, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals decided not to use the franchise tag to keep Chandler Jones on their roster for another season. Jones will now be allowed to seek out a new team and contract heading into the 2022 NFL season.

Jones spent the last six seasons with the Cardinals where he posted 71.5 sacks in 84 career games, along with being named to three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams. Last season with the Cardinals, the 32-year-old Jones recorded 41 combined tackles, 26 quarterback hits, 12 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, and 10.5 sacks.

The edge rusher/linebacker will be one of the top defensive players in free agency and will be coveted by multiple teams. Jones’ calculated market value is projected to be a three-year, $43 million ($14.5M AAV), according to Spotrac. That contract would be online with what J.J. Watt received from the Arizona Cardinals last offseason (2-yr, $28M) and Cameron Heyward from the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-yr, $65.6M) back in 2020.