Chandler Jones is demanding a trade from the Arizona Cardinals. The 31-year-old edge rusher is a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro who is dissatisfied with his current situation. He's heading into the final season of a five-year, $82.5 million contract and carries a cap hit of $20.8 million for 2021.
Jones wants a contract extension and it doesn't look like he's getting it in Arizona. That means he's likely to spend 2021 playing for his next deal. At 31, he's still young enough to get paid again. Unfortunately his 2020 season was cut short by a torn bicep, but in 2019 he had 19 sacks.
He's still an excellent edge rusher and plenty of teams across the NFL could use him. Here's a look at four likely trade destinations for Jones.
Chandler Jones Trade
The Colts have needs along the defensive line after Justin Houston's departure and Jones could fit in smoothly. Rookie Kwity Paye and Al-Quadin Muhammad currently project as the starting defensive ends, so there's room for an upgrade here. A D-line featuring DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart and Jones could be formidable.
The Colts currently have a little more than $14 million in cap space, so it wouldn't take much maneuvering to fit Jones in.
The Bills finished in the middle of the pack with 38 sacks as a team in 2020, which isn't good enough for a team that fancies itself a Super Bowl contender. Jerry Hughes (five sacks), Mario Addison (five sacks) and A.J. Epenesa (one sack), didn't get the job done, which is why Buffalo selected Miami's Gregory Rousseau with the 30th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rousseau has ridiculous upside but could take time to develop. Jones would give the Bills an immediate boost off the edge while their prized rookie figures things out. Buffalo would have to shuffle some things to fit Jones under the cap but that shouldn't be an issue.
If the Bills want to challenge the Chiefs in the AFC, they need to be able to get to the quarterback. They need to go all-in now and make a deal like this happen.
Like the Bills, the Ravens didn't do enough rushing the passer in 2020, finishing with 38 sacks. Baltimore clearly saw it as an issue and moved up in the draft to select Odafe Oweh with the 31st pick. The only player on the team with more then four sacks in 2020 was Matt Judon, who is now on the Patriots. Something has to change.
Jones fits what the Ravens love to do defensively and that's wreak havoc in the backfield. The team's defense needs needs an added edge that's been missing for a while and Jones could provide that instantly. He'd be a massive upgrade.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were terrible at getting to the quarterback in 2020 and it doesn't look like help is on the horizon. Maxx Crosby (seven sacks) was the only player on the team last season with more than three sacks and as a team they posted a paltry 21. They added Yannick Ngakoue who had eight sacks in 2020 while splitting time with the Ravens and Vikings, but he's not the guy he was back in 2017.
Adding Jones feels like a classic Raiders move. Bring in a veteran people are devaluing and let him prove himself. An end rotation of Crosby, Ngakoue and Jones could actually do some damage. The AFC West has excellent quarterback play and a pass rush may be the only way to neutralize it. This is a no-brainer move for Las Vegas.