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Chandler Jones, King Of Sacks For Cardinals

Veteran dedicated milestone to recently-passed Freddie Joe Nunn

Chandler Jones pulled his jersey up and the T-shirt underneath down, showing a picture of one-time Cardinal Freddie Joe Nunn.

It was moments after Jones got the sack in San Francisco -- his sixth of the season, and first since Week 1 -- that gave him 67 career sacks with the Cardinals, or a half-sack more than Nunn, to set the franchise record. And after Nunn passed away on Oct. 16, Jones wanted to make sure it was as much Nunn's moment as his.

"It's a huge milestone," Jones said. "I dedicate that sack to Freddie and his family."

When Jones arrived in trade in 2016, it seemed like a good move for the Cardinals. Here was a young pass rusher, and yes, he was going into the last year of his contract, but the Cardinals needed a pass rusher and the cost (a second-round pick and offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper, who had not panned out) was reasonable.

Well, reasonable at the time. It turned out to be a steal, nearly on the level of the DeAndre Hopkins trade.

Did Jones think when he walked in the door in 2016 he'd eventually become the franchise's all-time sack leader? "I knew it was a possibility."

Frankly, had he not gotten hurt in 2020, he'd likely already have the crown. The thing about Jones was, he got better in Arizona. And when he signed a giant contract extension before the 2017 season, he had the chance to glide a little. Instead, the guy who constantly says that rather than setting sack goals "I just want to get better every year" actually did just that. In 2017, he had 17 sacks and had probably his best all-around season. In 2019, he had 19 sacks.

"I got those sacks pretty fast," Jones said. "(The record) is a great milestone for me personally."

It's been a weird year for Jones. He is in the final year of his contract, and he was hoping for an extension that has not yet come. He had a five-sack opener and looked primed to push for 20 sacks again, but then was shut out every week except for the two games he missed because of Covid.

He wore the Nunn shirt for the first time during the Packers game, but with Aaron Rodgers barely holding the ball at all, Jones never had a chance to get the sack he needed. Jimmy Garoppolo helped out with that.

"For it to happen," said Jones, who has 103 total sacks in his career, "I'm smiling."

LB Chandler Jones shows off a shirt with Freddie Joe Nunn on it after Jones broke the franchise record for sacks that was held by Nunn, during a game in San Francisco in 2021

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