ARIZONA CARDINALS

PFF says Cardinals’ Chandler Jones poised to bounce back in 2021

Aug 21, 2021, 7:25 AM

After a slow start and eventual season-ending injury derailed the 2020 season for Arizona Cardinals edge linebacker Chandler Jones, Pro Football Focus considers the nine-year veteran to be a bounce-back candidate in 2021.

PFF named Jones as Arizona’s candidate for a strong rebound in the upcoming season, naming one player from every NFL team.

Jones recorded only a 62.6 overall player grade from PFF last season after excelling in 2019 with a 86.0. PFF cited a lack of defensive pressure in 2020 before he was injured in Arizona’s Week 5 game against the New York Jets.

What went wrong: Jones had an elite season as a pass-rusher in 2019, earning a career-high 90.0 pass-rush grade, which ranked inside the top five among NFL edge defenders. Instead of building on that success, Jones got off to a slow start in 2020 before suffering a season-ending biceps injury in Week 5. He generated just 10 pressures across 166 rushes prior to the injury, leading to a 63.1 pass-rush grade in that stretch.

Additional pressure from offensive lines against Jones played a major factor in the decline of production. Jones only recorded one sack in 2020, coming in the second quarter of Arizona’s opening game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.

PFF believes the three-time Pro Bowler could excel once again in 2021 partly due to the arrival of five-time Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt, as long as Watt remains healthy.

Watt was tied for fifth among the highest volume edge defenders in the league last year with 40 solo tackles, according to PFF.

Jones is looking to make his mark in the final year of his five-year contract with the Cardinals. He reportedly asked for a trade on July 25, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Jones has not spoken about his contract situation or his reported trade request since the start of training camp.

Arizona Cardinals

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the second quarter against the Carolina Pan...

Wills Rice

ESPN’s Bowen: Best potential landing spots for Budda Baker, DeAndre Hopkins

ESPN's Matt Bowen gave the best potential landing spots for both wideout DeAndre Hopkins and Cardinals safety Budda Baker.

1 day ago

James Conner...

Tyler Drake

No complaints: Cardinals’ James Conner excited to ‘prove people wrong’ with new regime

While outside expectations are some of the lowest they have been in Cardinals history, RB James Conner isn't focused on the external noise.

1 day ago

Kyler Murray...

Arizona Sports

Simms: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray in ‘clock’s ticking’ tier of NFL quarterbacks

After going down with a season-ending knee injury, can Kyler Murray return to form and be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL?

2 days ago

DeAndre Hopkins...

Tyler Drake

Gannon: WR DeAndre Hopkins’ release best thing for Cardinals

No matter how it all shook out, the Arizona Cardinals parting ways with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason was expected.

2 days ago

Kyzir White...

Tyler Drake

Kyzir White already running with role as Cardinals’ defensive general

Kyzir White's role at MIKE linebacker could slide Zaven Collins to the edge for the Arizona Cardinals defense.

3 days ago

Hollywood Brown...

Tyler Drake

Marquise Brown leads Cardinals WRs into life post-DeAndre Hopkins

There's no way around it, the Arizona Cardinals' wide receivers room took a shot Friday morning with the release of DeAndre Hopkins.

3 days ago

PFF says Cardinals’ Chandler Jones poised to bounce back in 2021