3. Chandler Jones, Outside Linebacker, Arizona Cardinals
Still a strong candidate to be franchise tagged, it’s highly possible that Chandler Jones never actually hits the free agent market.
However, if he shockingly does, the 26 year old is arguably the best pass rusher on this year’s free agent market, coming off a 11.0 sack season with the Cardinals. Not to mention, he also recorded 49 tackles and 4 forced fumbles–making all 16 starts for Arizona this past season.
The former 2015 Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX Champion with the Patriots has racked up double digit sacks in consecutive seasons on his way to becoming one of the best players at the outside linebacker position in the entire NFL.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Jones was their 7th best ‘edge defender’ with a +87.4 grade overall–including a +86.5 pass rushing grade.
It still seems like a long shot that Jones is allowed to leave the desert; however, the Colts should quickly pounce in the rare chance that he becomes available.
While Jones’ oldest brother, Art Jones, has been a disappointment since signing with the Colts, the odds are that the younger Jones would be much more successful in Indianapolis–as he’s the superior athlete of the two brothers and much more ‘star’ than ‘role player’.
The Colts could desperately use a star pass rusher too, as the Colts all-time career sack leader Robert Mathis recently retired and last year’s team sack leader, Erik Walden, is set to become a free agent with no young pass rushers in the pipeline.