ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN’s Fowler does not expect holdout from Cardinals LB Chandler Jones

Jul 26, 2021, 11:13 AM | Updated: 12:48 pm

Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals gestures to the official after a false start by the Car...

Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals gestures to the official after a false start by the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter of their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals pass-rusher Chandler Jones reportedly requested a trade this offseason.

The news was first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who joined Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Monday to discuss the team’s options as veterans report to training camp on Tuesday.

“I think it depends on what your forces are but if the forces keeping Chandler Jones in Arizona, I do think there’s a pretty good chance of that,” Fowler said.

Tuesday will feature the run test for the Cardinals before commencing practice for training camp on Wednesday.

Should the 31-year-old Jones not report to camp, it would show signs of the beginning of a potential holdout from two-time All-Pro.

However, Fowler doesn’t expect a holdout and says that the team is expecting Jones to show up, as he is “fired up” to get a chance to play with defensive lineman J.J. Watt.

“His focus from what I’ve been told is putting together a really good season,” Fowler said. “He was unhealthy last year and is fully healthy now and recovered and wants to get back to the 15- to 18-sack guy that most people now.

“I do think that’s the focus, that’s why I don’t expect a holdout. You never know if a guy is unhappy, he might decide not to show up at the last minute. But the Cardinals from what I’ve been told are expecting him.”

Fowler says the Cardinals will have to make a financial decision when it comes to extending Jones’ contract or not, especially at 31 years old and coming off of a torn bicep that ended his 2020 season in Week 5.

The three-time Pro Bowler has one year remaining on his deal that will pay him a $15.5 million base salary, with a cap hit of $20.8 million and a dead cap hit of $5.3 million.

Fowler pointed to the likes of 32-year-old Von Miller — who got his $17 million option picked up by the Denver Broncos — and 26-year-old Joey Bosa, who averages $27.5 million with the Los Angeles Chargers.

“That’s the problem the Cardinals face here,” he said. “It’s not that they don’t want to keep Chandler Jones on a bridge deal and have him maybe for three more years instead of one.

“But when you’re 31 years old you’ve had an injury, they don’t want to pay the going rate for premier guys. … For elite guys even in their 30s, you’re getting close to $20 million (a year average). Now elite guys in their 20s, you’re up to $25 million (a year average) and above.”

Fowler added that he thinks 26-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers pass-rusher T.J. Watt — the brother of J.J. Watt — won’t take anything less than an average of $28 million a year after his contract expires at the end of the 2021 season.

“It’s going to be top of market, highest-paid non-QB. I think it has to be that,” Fowler said. “So the number at that position is getting pretty outrageous.

“So if you’re the Cardinals, you have to weigh: Do you pay a guy like that $20 million a year no matter how good Chandler Jones has been when he’s coming off of an injury? It’s a tough call.”

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Jacob Cowing runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Projecting where Arizona Cardinals could draft NFL Combine standouts

A look at some of the combine standouts who could fill a Cardinals' need and how they could realistically find their way to Arizona:

2 hours ago

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Mar...

Tom Kuebel

Cardinals could trade up to pick OL prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft

After an impressive showing by the offensive lineman at the 2024 NFL Draft Combine, the Cardinals might have to trade up from pick No. 27 to get a top prospect.

23 hours ago

Rome Odunze...

Alex Weiner

How did Rome Odunze measure at NFL Draft Combine after meeting with Cardinals?

Before taking the field to run the 40-yard dash, Rome Odunze met with several teams sitting atop the draft, including the Cardinals.

2 days ago

Olumuyiwa Fashanu...

Jesse Morrison

NFL Draft OL prospect Olu Fashanu had ‘smooth meeting’ with Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon

One of the top prospects in the NFL draft, offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu seemed interested in the Cardinals at the NFL combine.

2 days ago

JC Latham...

Alex Weiner

Alabama OT JC Latham met with Cardinals, says playing with Kyler Murray would be a ‘dream’

JC Latham met with the Cardinals at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he was enthusiastic about the prospects of playing with Kyler Murray. 

2 days ago

Quinyon Mitchell runs 40-yard dash at combine...

Jesse Morrison

With Cardinals needing cornerback, Nate Wiggins, Quinyon Mitchell excel at NFL combine

The Arizona Cardinals need to address cornerback and two corners, Quinyon Mitchell and Nate Wiggins, showed out in Friday testing.

2 days ago

ESPN’s Fowler does not expect holdout from Cardinals LB Chandler Jones