Former Pat, current union leader Vrabel arrested

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Former Pat, current union leader Vrabel arrested

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Aweek ago I wondered on the Twitter how many knuckleheads would give their NFL brethren a black eye by getting into trouble during the lockout. Mike Vrabel was not a guy I had in mind. But apparently the former Patriot got arrested in Indiana earrrrrllly Monday morning for theft at the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk broke the story. Vrabel got booked at 5:28 a.m. My guess is he wasn't up early, but out late. As Florio reports, theft of anything in Indiana is a Class D felony so that's what Vrabel is on the hook for. Florio reports that Vrabel was released at 10:39 a.m. after posting a 600 bond.
In other words, he could have stolen a casino chip. Or a sweet top hat. Or maybe he was just helping someone out with their poker. Six hundred bucks bond doesn't generally indicate the infraction was too dire. Vrabel replied to an email I sent him with the following message: It was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and I take full responsibility for the miscommunication. I feel comfortable that after talking with the appropriate parties, we will resolve this matter.But Vrabel getting arrested for anything right now is worse than just about any other player in the league getting arrested for grand theft auto. At least for appearances. He's on the NFLPA's executive committee and was a vocal leader of that group. His suggestion two weeks ago that the NFLPA committee meet with a handful of owners while the lawyers cleared the room got a lot of play. Vrabel is a smart, no-BS guy who would have represented the players' interests well. We'll see how much this mitigates his ability to take a leading role at the table.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi discusses the odds that the New England Patriots franchise tag Dont'a Hightower and what he expects the Pats to get if they were to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

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Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

PHOENIX - The Arizona Cardinals, in an anticipated move, have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones after failing to reach a long-term deal with the player.

The non-exclusive tag allows the Cardinals to continue negotiating with Jones through July 15. If another team makes him an offer, Arizona can either match it or receive two first-round draft picks.

It's unlikely that any team would express interest in Jones, however, given what it would cost.

Under the franchise tag, Jones would receive about $15 million for the coming season.

Acquired in a trade with New England a year ago, Jones had 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 15 tackles for loss last season

Jones has 25 1-2 sacks over the past two seasons, third-most in the NFL over that span.

The Cardinals' move came two days before the NFL deadline for making franchise designations.

It also came on Jones' 27th birthday, prompting teammate David Johnson to tweet "Happy BDay to `The Man,' `Mr. Franchise' himself.....The one and only."

The franchise tag move came as no surprise.

Club President Michael Bidwill has stated all along that Jones would not be going anywhere, that the team didn't make the trade - sending guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick to New England - to keep him just for one season.

"We're not going to mess around with that," Bidwill said in a recent interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "He's a great pass rusher, but if we can't agree to terms that work for us, we're just going to franchise him, and his people know that."

Jones immediately upgraded what had been an average Cardinals pass rush at best. His fellow outside linebacker Markus Golden had 12 1-2 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Together they form one of the better outside pass rush combinations in the NFL.

By all accounts, the contract talks with Jones have been cordial and Jones has said he wants to stay in Arizona.

"I love it here," he said near the end of last season. "I love the vibe that the people give off and I can see myself being here for a long time."

Chandler heads a long list of free agents that the Cardinals must either re-sign or let go. That group includes starters defensive tackle Calais Campbell, safety Tony Jefferson and inside linebacker Kevin Minter.