It may be difficult at times, but Chandler Jones is trying to keep his contract status out of sight and out of mind as he rolls through the 2021 season with the Cardinals. Of course, the star pass rusher is in the midst of his final year of his contract with Arizona and made it clear this offseason that he was in pursuit of a new deal. Jones did not participate in offseason workouts and confirmed Wednesday that he requested a trade to a team that plans to pay him.
No such trade has come down and no deal has been struck, but none of that seemed to bother him in the opener. Jones dominated in Arizona's Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans, tying a franchise record with five sacks on the afternoon.
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"I think I play best when I don't go in thinking about the deal," Jones said, via the team's official website. "… I'm just playing football, honestly. I'm letting my agent take care of all of that. It is the last year of my contract and I let that take care of itself."
Jones missed the bulk of last season due to injury, but he looks every bit of the All-Pro pass rusher we saw in 2019. Coach Kliff Kingsbury even admitted that Jones' desires for a new deal are warranted.
"You saw what type of talent he is, he knows what he is," Kingsbury said. "I know he wants more money and he's probably deserving of it. It's part of the business. But the way he's handling himself and the way he's treating his teammates and coaches, it's phenomenal."
While Jones will look to try and keep his mind off getting a new contract, if he continues to show out like he did in Week 1, the Cardinals may have no choice but to throw some cash in his direction.