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.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Follow @KellanOlson...
Kellan Olson

Kyler Murray signs extension with Bidwill in latest ‘Cardinals Flight Plan’

The latest episode of "Cardinals Flight Plan" released on Wednesday and profiled a few of the biggest stories in the last few weeks.
1 day ago
Tight end Stephen Anderson #89 of the Arizona Cardinals participants in a team training camp at Sta...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: TE Stephen Anderson leaning on his versatility

The Arizona Cardinals' tight ends room is about as stacked as its ever been. So where does that leave a guy like Stephen Anderson?
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals DL Manny Jones runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe....
Tyler Drake

Is that K1? Manny Jones stole Cardinals’ rookie show with Kyler Murray skit

Cardinals DL Manny Jones' impression of Kyler Murray for the rookie talent show on Tuesday had the team doubled over in laughter.
1 day ago
Zaven Collins #25 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns ...
Jake Anderson

Zaven Collins fine-tuning his craft in Year 2 with Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals second-year pro Zaven Collins is still learning the finer details of playing inside linebacker in the NFL.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2...
Tyler Drake

Trio of potential Cardinals starters expected to get some run vs. Bengals

Dennis Gardeck, Marco Wilson and Zaven Collins will all see their fair share of preseason reps against the Bengals on Friday.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
1 day ago
PFF says Cardinals’ Chandler Jones poised to bounce back in 2021