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Someone definitely wants the bag.
In the first Arizona Cardinals game of the 2021 regular season against the Tennessee Titans, soon-to-be free agent edge rusher Chandler Jones accumulated three sacks in the first quarter.
That’s including a forced fumble that led to the Cardinals’ first touchdown.
The 17-time NBA All-Star LeBron James even had a chance to voice his excitement over the potential comeback player of the year, and even defensive player of the year.
Jones is now a part of the 100 sack club as well. He trails fellow-teammate J.J. Watt with one less sack.
The Cardinals’ defensive line took the game by storm, sacking Tannehill in the first quarter. But they also stopped the run in the first half against Derrick Henry, limiting him to nine carries for eight yards.
Even the Cards’ secondary had bright moments, including with third-year Byron Murphy’s play. The Titans scored a touchdown finally in the second quarter, but so many things needed to be right for that to happen, including a flea-flicker.
As for the Cardinals’ offense, Kyler Murray had himself an incredibly efficient first half. We’ll touch on that.
Jones Wants That Pay Day
Edge rusher Chandler Jones has wreaked havoc in the past and can continue to become a dominant force like he was in 2019. He has Watt on the defensive line for support now and while Watt’s sack numbers didn’t jump out in 2020 with just five sacks, he was eighth in tackles for loss and had 12 quarterback knockdowns.
Having the support of Jones and players like Corey Peters and eventually getting back Jordan Phillips from injury can make a difference. The Cardinals were fifth in sacks in 2020 without Jones for most of the year, imagine what the defensive line can do this season.
Jones, who signed a five-year deal with the Cardinals in March 2017, is in the final year of that contract and will earn $15.5 million this season. There was a point where Jones requested a trade on July 25 after disagreements with his contract and future with the team.
Finally, Chandler appeared at practice for the first time in weeks on August 30. This will be a major year for the veteran and general manager Steve Keim will have to make a tough choice after the season if Jones balls out.
Stay tuned for more…