Arizona Cardinals sign Chandler Jones to a five-year contract extension, other free agent news
Arizona Cardinals' Chandler Jones (55) sacks Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson during the first half at CenturyLink Field, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016. |Source: AP Photo/John Froschauer|

Arizona Cardinals sign Chandler Jones to a five-year contract extension, other free agent news

After day one of free agency in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals locked up Chandler Jones for the foreseeable future, while signing other free agents with key free agent losses

richard-martinez
Richard Martinez

The Arizona Cardinals announced that they and pass-rusher Chandler Jones have agreed to a contract extension. Jones' deal is worth $83 million, receiving $16.5 million per year and is guaranteed $53 million.

This comes after the Cardinals placed the franchise tag on him in February, though the move was done to buy more time for the Cardinals to work out a long-term contract extension.

Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com announced the news Friday morning. AZcentral.com’s Cardinals reporter Kent Somers and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora first reported the extension on Thursday, with La Canfora announcing the contract details.

Jones became a member of the Cardinals last offseason when they traded Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick to the New England Patriots. In his first season with the team, Jones finished the 2016 season with 49 tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Other Cardinals free agent moves

Antoine Bethea (41) of the 49ers tackles Nick O'Leary (84) of the Bills at New Era Field October 16, 2016 |Source:Brett Carlsen/Getty Images North America|
Antoine Bethea (41) of the 49ers tackles Nick O'Leary (84) of the Bills at New Era Field October 16, 2016 |Source:Brett Carlsen/Getty Images North America|

Arizona inked safety Antoine Bethea to a three-year deal Thursday. Bethea, 32, was cut this offseason by the San Francisco 49ers. With Jimmie Ward, Eric Reid, and Jaquiski Tarrt on the roster, Bethea was the odd man out at the safety position. Bethea led the 49ers last season in total tackles, 110, with one interception, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble in 2016.

Karlos Dansby (56) of the Cardinals tackling Marshawn Lynch (24) of the Seahawks in a game in 2013 at CenturyLink Field in 2013 |Source: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America|
Karlos Dansby (56) of the Cardinals tackling Marshawn Lynch (24) of the Seahawks in a game in 2013 at CenturyLink Field in 2013 |Source: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America|

Somers also reported that the Cardinals have reached an agreement with veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby, pending a physical. This will be Dansby’s third stint with the Cardinals. Last season Dansby appeared in all 16 game for the Cincinnati Bengals, recording 114 tackles, one sack, a fumble recovery and six passes defended.

The Cardinals will also be bringing a new kicker as they agreed to terms with Phil Dawson. This comes after the Cardinals elected not to tender a contract to restricted free agent kicker Chandler Catanzaro. Dawson has played most of his career with the Cleveland Browns, spending 14 seasons in a Browns uniform. He has spent the last four seasons with the 49ers. Dawson, 42, appeared in all 16 games for the 49ers last season, converted 18 of 21 field goal attempts and went 33 of 34 in extra point attempts.

Key losses

Danny Woodhead (left) and Tony Jefferson (right) at their introductory press conference |via Baltimore Ravens|
Danny Woodhead (left) and Tony Jefferson (right) at their introductory press conference |via Baltimore Ravens|

When NFL free agency kicked off Thursday the Cardinals felt an immediate impact with the loss of safety Tony Jefferson. Jefferson and the Baltimore Ravens agreed to a four-year contract worth $36 million. Jefferson is one of the feel-good stories in the league, going from undrafted free agent in 2013 to quietly becoming one of the best young safeties in the NFL.

“Just wanna say thank you for being my home the past 4 years, you fans are truly special and I will always cherish the moments we had,” Jefferson posted on his Instagram Thursday. 

Another big loss the Cardinals suffered was the departure of the defensive lineman Calais Campbell. Campbell signed a four-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, worth $60 million, with $30 million guaranteed, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Campbell, 30, accumulated 541 tackles, 55 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, six blocked field goals and three interceptions in nine seasons as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. The

The Cardinals made an attempt to keep Campbell and Jefferson but, they could not match what each player’s value was in the open market.

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