NFL Insider: Cards Preparing to Pay Chandler Jones

By Cuyler Meade

Peter King has been covering the NFL meetings in Boca Raton this week and he came away today with an interesting nugget from Cardinals coach Bruce Arians regarding the future of the Arizona Cardinals new pass rusher.

“He left no doubt that the Arizona Cardinals will be making a long-term financial commitment to Chandler Jones,” King told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat on Wednesday.

King expressed surprise at the declaration.

“If only because now that you’ve said that, you’ve gotta do it,” King said. “Doesn’t that say to Chandler Jones, ‘I can ask for 94 gazillion dollars a year. They’ve already said they’ve going to sign me.’ I was surprised at how confident he was.”

Arians doesn’t seem concerned about that. He evidently sees Jones as a lynchpin piece for the Cardinals.

“Arians told a small group of us this morning, ‘You’ve got to have that top guy at that level in the NFL. And now that we’ve got him, we’re not going to let him get away’,” King said.

The SI.com Senior NFL Writer also spoke favorably of the trade for the Cardinals as a whole. He said he considers the trade a win for both Arizona and the New England Patriots.

The move allowed the Pats to get substantial value out of a player they didn’t expect to sign when his contract was up at the end of this season, while the Cardinals got a player that did something they weren’t able to do with their current roster.

It also was a relatively limited-risk proposition for Steve Keim, Arians and the Cardinals.

“The next year gives Arizona a chance to find out what they have with him,” King said.

Jones recorded a career-high 12.5 sacks last season in New England. He’s expected to greatly improve Arizona’s pass rush which ranked 20th in 2015 with 36 sacks. He was acquired in a deal last week for former first-round pick Jonathan Cooper and second-round selection in next month’s draft.