Jaguars seen as potential fit for OLB Chandler Jones in free agency
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense has a few solid pieces in place but more are needed if they want to become more consistent in 2022. In particular, their pass rush could use a boost and Arizona Cardinals Chandler Jones could give them a helping hand in that regard.
Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network recently drew up a profile on Jones and sees the Jaguars, the Denver Broncos, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Miami Dolphins as one of several potential destinations for the pass rusher. Wilson notes that Jones’ last contract averaged$16.5 million per year and believes he could make as much as $20-22 million annually on the next one.
A first-round selection by the New England Patriots in 2013, Jones was traded to the Cards in 2017 in exchange for offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round selection. Since landing in the desert, Jones has logged 71.5 sacks, 262 total tackles, 80 tackles for a loss, 23 forced fumbles, and 19 passes defensed. Over his ten-year career, he’s made four Pro Bowls and named First-Team All-Pro twice.
Jones showed last season he still has plenty of gas in the tank, amassing 10.5 sacks and six forced fumbles and teams wouldn’t mind giving him a two/three-year contract that paid him close to $20 million per year for that kind of production in 2022.
The Jacksonville Jaguars can easily make a bid for Chandler Jones.
The Jaguars need to get a pass rusher opposite outside linebacker Josh Allen that can get opposing quarterbacks out of rhythm. Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson are tempting options with the first overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft but if the front office plans to target Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal, Chandler becomes one of their best options in free agency.
The pass-rush market could look different in a few weeks, but it seems like Chandler, Harold Landry (Tennesee Titans), Von Miller (Los Angeles Rams) and Haason Riddick will all be available in free agency, so the Jags will have their fair share of options to choose from. In the end, it would come down to which player the team’s brass believes could help their defense the most but Chandler could end up getting the nod due to his connection to Jaguars defensive line coach Brentson Buckner.
The Jaguars’ defense showed improvement in 2021, racking up 32 sacks after registering just 18 the season before, but they need to make more strides if they want to win more games. While they need Josh Allen to have a breakout year, they also need to add more playmakers this offseason. That’s why it wouldn’t be shocking to see them pursue Chandler in free agency.