Report: Union-Endicott grad Chandler Jones requested a trade from Cardinals this offseason

Bob McManaman
Arizona Republic

Arizona Cardinals All-Pro edge rusher Chandler Jones reportedly requested a trade from the team this offseason because he has been upset with his contract situation and his future with the franchise.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, citing sources, was the first to report the news on Sunday. According to Fowler, the Cardinals do not want to trade Jones and team officials expect him to report to training camp at State Farm Stadium along with the rest of the club’s veterans on Tuesday.

Jones, 31, is a Union-Endicott graduate who is entering the final year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract and his $15.5 million salary this season is not fully guaranteed. Jones, whose 98 sacks since entering the NFL in 2012 are the most over that span, missed 11 games last season upon suffering a torn biceps.

Aug 24, 2020; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during training camp at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK

Jones didn’t attend any of the Cardinals’ voluntary offseason workouts and he also skipped the team’s mandatory, three-day mini-camp in June – as did inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, who had been told he can seek a trade after losing his starting job to rookie Zaven Collins. When asked if either player would be facing a fine for not reporting, coach Kliff Kingsbury said there was “nothing new to report there.”

“We’ve been in communication with both guys,” he said. “We know the situations and so I’ll leave that dialogue between us.”

If Jones doesn’t report to training camp on Tuesday, he will be fined $50,000. Under the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players will be fined $50,000 for every day of training camp that refuse to report. Also under new CBA rules, teams no longer can forgive fines to player.

Jones participated in the Cardinals’ media day event a day prior to the June mandatory mini-camp. Posing for photos and shooting short videos seemed to be a sign that the two sides might be able to figure something out before it became a distraction.

“For us, it’s not a distraction at all,” safety Budda Baker said during the mini-camp. “This is an NFL business league. We support Chan in whatever he’s doing. When we see him, we’ll see him.”

Sunday’s news about having requested a trade, however, could certainly develop into a huge distraction during training camp. The Cardinals are also reeling from comments made by All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last week regarding his anti-vaccination stance involving the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

In a tweet on Thursday he later would delete, Hopkins said, “Never thought I would say this, But being in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @nfl.” After deleting his initial tweet, he tweeted, “Freedom?” Later, he also added he had “9 more years left in me.”

Hopkins’ tweet came in the wake of an NFL memo earlier in the day that posted the ramifications teams and players would face if they experienced COVID outbreaks during the upcoming 2021 season. The NFL said a forfeit shall be declared for a postponed game that can’t be rescheduled during the 18-week framework of the season and is caused by an outbreak among unvaccinated players. If a forfeit occurs, players on both teams would lose their game checks.

Have an opinion on the Arizona Cardinals? Reach McManaman at bob.mcmanaman@arizonarepublic.com and follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac. Listen to him live on Fox Sports 910-AM every Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 on Calling All Sports with Roc and Manuch.