It took nearly two weeks, but the first franchise tag has reportedly been applied. The Cardinals announced on Monday that they are placing their franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones -- a move that was expected for months.
Now that Jones has been tagged, coincidentally on his 27th birthday, the two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. If an extension isn't reached, Jones will have to sign the franchise tag and play out the 2017 season on it.
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The franchise tag figures have yet to be determined, but the estimated one-year salary for an outside linebacker is expected to be about $14.5 million. It's determined by the average of the top five salaries at a player's position.
Jones, in his first season with the Cardinals after he was traded from the Patriots last year, recorded 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. Had he hit free agency, he would have been one of the top five players on the market and likely the highest-paid pass rusher.
Though he won't get the luxury of fielding offers from other teams, a salary in the range of $14.6 million is nice. By comparison, his base salary in 2016 was $7.8 million.
Team president Michael Bidwell said last month and again in mid-February that the Cardinals would use the tag on their stud pass rusher.
"We're not going to mess around with that," Bidwill said. "He's a great pass rusher, but if we can't agree to terms that work for us, we're just going to franchise him. His people know that."