Four-time Pro Bowler Chandler Jones will hit the 2022 NFL free-agent market as one of the very best defensive players available. In an era where passing completely dominates how the game is played, elite-level pass rushers are at an absolute premium. And Jones is the goods when it comes to putting opposing quarterbacks on their butt.
Jones was a key cog on a 2021 Arizona Cardinals defense that ranked amongst the 10 best in the league all season. Many teams will be vying for his services on March 16, in the hopes that he can bring his consistent double-digit sack numbers to their defense in 2022.
However, the 32-year-old’s talents won’t come cheap and he will most definitely be aiming for a massive haul in what could be the last major contract of his career. Here are the three teams that would be the ideal landing spots for the Cardinals sack master next season.
New York Jets look to upgrade a horrid defense
The New York Jets were a dumpster fire on offense and defense last season. Fortunately for them, they have a ton of money to take into free agency and plug up a lot of holes with premium talent. The eleventh best free agent available in our rankings would fix several of the needs on what was an awful defense group.
The Jets had the seventh least sacks in the NFL, gave up the third-most yards, and allowed the second-best opponent quarterback rating. Suffice to say they were terrible in stopping QBs from running rampant on them. Jones would be huge in helping to give them a respectable pass rush for once. Plus, 2019 first-round pick Quinnen Williams might flourish with someone else getting the blocking game focus instead of him.
Philadelphia Eagles add a badly needed pass rushing ace
Similar to the Jets, the Philadelphia Eagles were lacking when it came to the defensive side of the ball in 2021. However, while the Eagles gave up fewer yards and didn’t allow as many QBs to run amuck, they had the second least sacks in the league at just 29. It took a historically bad Falcons team with 19 sacks to keep the Eagles out of the pass rush doldrums.
- Chandler Jones stats (2021): 26 quarterback hits, 12 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks
While Philadelphia doesn’t have nearly the sort of money the Jets have to throw around they also have far less ground to make up in being a contender in the NFC East, after a 9-8 season in 2021. There are needs on offense, but scooping up Jones in free agency may offer a better chance to fix their problems on defense immediately, while improving the offense in 2022 may be a bit trickier.
Jones gives Kansas City Chiefs an elite pass rusher
Jones landing with the Kansas City Chiefs may be a long shot currently since the fellas from KC are $5 million over the cap. But that could change sooner than later. Especially since the Arizona star would help cure a defense that has cost the team a Super Bowl in 2020, and a return trip this past season.
For as good as the Chiefs offense has been with superstar QB Patrick Maholmes, their defense has nearly been the complete opposite at times in recent seasons. In 2021, they were fourth-worst in sacks, gave up the sixth-most yards, and gave up the fourth-most plays of 40-yards or more. Sure, that might also be a product of poor tackling, but Jones is pretty good at that too.