The storyline is gone. Nineteen sacks will do that.
When Chandler Jones was left off the NFL Network’s “Top 100” list last year, it immediately raised eyebrows and was constant conversation throughout the year as the Cardinals' linebacker had arguably the best season of his career.
It also all but assured Jones' return to the list, which happened Tuesday night when Jones went from MIA in 2019 to a No. 15 ranking in 2020.
The top 10 will counted down on Wednesday - the telecast begins at 5 p.m. Pacific time – and new Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was 11th last year and who has yet to be named following another All-Pro season, figures to be on the list at some point.
Jones is the fourth Cardinal on this year's list. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald came in at No. 69, quarterback Kyler Murray was No. 90 and safety Budda Baker was No. 97.
But no Cardinal had a better year than Jones last season. Yet as recent as mid-season last year, Jones was seemingly still lagging nationally when it came to recognition.
"Oh, you don't talk about me," he said at one point. "You're upset that I'm at No. 1 (in sacks)? That's cool. As long as Mr. (Michael) Bidwill is saying good game, and Kliff (Kingsbury) is saying good game to me, alright, cool."
By the time the season was over, however Jones was named first-team All-Pro and was in the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team. In just four seasons with the Cardinals, he has 60 sacks -- second in franchise history -- and 17 forced fumbles. He has become a favorite name for analysts talking about the best defensive players and/or pass rushers in the NFL.
He also got the attention of his peers across the NFL, who went from not picking him at all for the "Top 100" list -- built on player-only votes -- to putting him at No. 15.