NFL

Cardinals respond to Jones speculation after five-sack showing

By Sports Desk September 19, 2021

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim insists his team are "not in the business of getting rid of good players", amid speculation over the future of Chandler Jones.

Former New England Patriots pass-rusher Jones sat out OTAs and minicamp as well as reportedly requesting a trade as he entered this season, the last of his current contract.

Last season, three-time Pro Bowler Jones suffered a torn bicep in Week 5 ending his campaign early.

But the 31-year-old started 2021 with a bang, recording an astonishing five sacks as the Cardinals opened with a big 38-13 win at the Tennessee Titans.

Ahead of the Cardinals playing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Keim was asked whether the team would be able to tie Jones down to a new deal.

"We are not in the business of moving on and getting rid of good football players," Keim said to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

"You always want to get good players under contract, but there are always a million different moving parts. 

"I have to continue to look at the roster moving forward, generally from a three-year standpoint."

Per Stats Perform data, Jones' five-sack showing was just the eighth time this century a player has recorded that number in a single game. 

The last player to achieve the feat was in fact Haason Reddick, also for the Cardinals, in Week 14 of last season against the New York Giants.

Reddick has since moved on to the Carolina Panthers, but having Jones back with a point to prove should be of huge benefit.

While Jones is focused on what takes place on the field, he acknowledges the contract situation is hard to ignore entirely.

"I'm just playing football, honestly," Jones said. "I just let my agent take care of that – the contract situation – but it is the last year of my contract and I just let that take care of itself.

"Is it something that, I mean, [I think about] off the field? Yeah, I mean, of course. I don't know where I'm gonna live next year. 

"But in the same situation, I think, when the season starts, I tell my agent let's put all that to a side, you take care of that.

"If you want to talk about it, you talk about it. As far as for me, I'm going to play, and I'm going to play my best football, and we'll see what happens then.

"When it comes to the season, I think doing your job is essential, putting the team first, ignore the noise and just managing expectations.

"I think I play best when I don't go in thinking about the deal or the contract."

The Cardinals' Week 1 win was their second largest victory since Kliff Kingsbury became head coach in 2019. 

They play a Vikings team who suffered a disappointing overtime defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals to begin the season.

Related items

  • Lewandowski and Benzema both deserve Ballon d'Or – Upamecano weighs into debate Lewandowski and Benzema both deserve Ballon d'Or – Upamecano weighs into debate

    Bayern Munich defender Dayot Upamecano said Robert Lewandowski and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema are both worthy of this year's Ballon d'Or.

    Lewandowski and Benzema are among the nominees for football's most prestigious individual award – the 30-man shortlist will be whittled down to just three players.

    Upamecano is team-mates with Lewandowski at Bundesliga champions Bayern, while he also plays alongside Benzema for World Cup and Nations League holders France.

    Asked about Lewandowski and Benzema ahead of Bayern's Champions League fixture with Benfica on Wednesday, Upamecano replied: "Very good question!

    "Lewandowski or Benzema, both of them deserve it [Ballon d'Or]. They are the two best strikers in the world. They prove it year after year.

    "If Lewandowski wins, I would be very happy for him because he is my team-mate at Bayern. If Benzema wins, I also would be very happy for him."

    Prior to Madrid's 5-0 rout of Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, Benzema had been involved in more shot-ending sequences of play (76) than any other player in the Champions League.

    In this same period, Lionel Messi (12) was the only player who had recorded more multi-shot involvements than Benzema (10), which captures all instances of sequences where a player is both involved in the build-up and takes the shot.

    Meanwhile, Lewandowski has scored five goals in six Champions League appearances against Portuguese opponents, including three against Benfica – no player has ever scored more times against sides from Portugal in the competition.

    Bayern are on a record unbeaten run of 19 matches away from home in Champions League (W15 D4), netting 54 goals during this streak since losing 3-0 at Paris Saint-Germain in September 2017. Over a third of their goals in this unbeaten run have been scored by their Lewandowski (19 – 35 per cent).

    German giants Bayern's eight unbeaten matches against Benfica in the European Cup/Champions League (W5 D3) is the joint-most by a team against an opponent since the tournament began in 1955 – Bayern versus Spartak Moscow (W5 D3) and Barcelona versus Lyon (W5 D3) have also faced eight times without ever losing.

    Since the start of last season, Bayern have averaged more goals (3.2) and have a higher expected goals tally (2.6) per game than any other team in the Champions League. Among teams involved in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 tournaments, they also have the highest shot conversion rate in this period (18.3 per cent).

  • Ravens lose Stanley due to season-ending ankle surgery Ravens lose Stanley due to season-ending ankle surgery

    The Baltimore Ravens will be without Pro Bowler Ronnie Stanley for the remainder of the NFL season after announcing he will undergo surgery on his left ankle.

    Stanley will have season-ending surgery for the second consecutive season, have missed the final 10 games of the 2020 campaign due to a broken ankle.

    The high-flying Ravens (5-1) have placed Stanley on injured reserve, with the First-Team All-Pro vowing to return next season.

    "At this point in time, my ankle isn't where it should be," the 27-year-old offensive tackle – who signed a five-year contract extension last October – said in a statement on Tuesday.

    "This is the best decision not only for my health, but also for the team long-term. I look forward to supporting my team from the sideline this season and coming back fully healthy in 2022."

    Stanley had missed five of the Ravens' six games this season, playing only in their opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.

    "This is not what I wanted or expected when coming into the season," Stanley said. "Throughout the last year, I did everything I could to be 100 per cent healthy so I could be out there playing for our team and city."

    The Ravens have an NFL-high 17 players on injured reserve.

  • Warriors 'nowhere near a championship team' – Green Warriors 'nowhere near a championship team' – Green

    Draymond Green said the Golden State Warriors are "nowhere near a championship team", though the three-time NBA title winner believes they have the pieces to potentially develop into a contender.

    The Warriors have failed to qualify for the playoffs in each of the past two years as they prepare to open their 2021-22 campaign against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Tuesday.

    It comes after the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals prior to Kevin Durant's departure, having won championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018 before Klay Thompson's serious injuries.

    Thompson is stepping up his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and Achilles injury, while former number two pick James Wiseman is recovering from a knee problem, though the Warriors still boast two-time MVP Stephen Curry.

    "I think this team could be very good," three-time Warriors All-Star Green said of Golden State. "But I think this team has to grow.

    "We have to put it all together. Is there aspirations to winning a championship? Absolutely. But this team is nowhere near a championship team.

    "I think we have a lot of pieces that could grow to be that, I don't doubt that at all, but we also can't get fooled by 5-0 in the preseason and say, 'Oh man, we're a championship team.' We've got a long f****** ways to go."

    Golden State averaged 27.7 assists per game last season, leading the league for the sixth time in seven seasons, according to Stats Perform. The Warriors tied the Brooklyn Nets for the most games with at least 30-plus assists, going 24-3 (88.9) in those games.

    Green added: "You don't just win a championship because you think the pieces fit. You don't just win a championship because you think you got good talent. You got to make that s*** work.

    "And so do I think we have a good chance to be a really good team? Absolutely. But to say we can win a championship, we're so far away from that as is just about every other team in this league except maybe the Milwaukee Bucks because they're coming off that.

    "Everybody else has a long ways to go and we're right there in that group that's going to be trying to create separation to be one of those teams that can contend in June."

    Curry will play his 763rd game on Tuesday, with the three-time NBA champion on pace to be the second-quickest player in the last three decades to hit 5,000 assists (currently 4,984) and 18,000 points (currently 18,434), behind only Lakers superstar LeBron James (726 games).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.