The pairing of Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt happened Monday, when the two took part in Cardinals' media day, getting into uniform for pictures and video. Watt even tweeted about it.
But the pairing of Watt and Jones actually on the field will have to wait for awhile. Jones did not attend Tuesday's opening practice of the mandatory three-day minicamp.
Veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks, who has been given permission to seek a trade after the team drafted Zaven Collins and installed the rookie as the starting Mike linebacker, also was not present.
"We've been in communication with both guys, we know the situations and I'll leave that dialogue between us," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "Nothing else to report on that."
Kingsbury said neither are expected to come to minicamp this week.
Jones, 31, is entering the final year of his contract. He has not publicly said anything about his contract status. After his All-Pro 2019 season in which he had 19 sacks, Jones missed most of 2020 after suffering a season-ending biceps injury in Week 5. He had one sack, although he was still effective pressuring the quarterback before he got hurt.
"Business is business," tackle D.J. Humphries said.
This offseason has been different. with the ongoing issues through the pandemic as well as many veteran NFL players seeking to significantly cut down the amount of on-field work during the offseason. But Jones skipping is notable in part because he has always been a player who showed up to everything in the offseason, including all voluntary work. His participation in media day shoots is a good sign for the season, but his future beyond 2021 will continue to be a storyline.
"For us, it's not a distraction at all," safety Budda Baker said. "This is an NFL business league, and we support Chan in whatever he is doing. When we see him, we see him."