Patriots grab pair of lesser knowns in 6th and 7th


Patriots grab pair of lesser knowns in 6th and 7th

By Tom E. Curran
FOXBORO - A day (or two) after many experts expected the Patriots would select a pass rusher, New England finally made a move to take a guy who can chase quarterbacks on the regular. Markell Carter, a defensive end from Scottie Pippen's alma mater Central Arkansas, was the 194th pick in this draft. New England closed out its 2011 draft by selecting defensive back Malcolm Williams from TCU with the 219th pick. Carter is a 6-4, 248-pound fella who didn't attend the Combine. When he worked out at a pro day, he ran a 4.76 40 and bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times. For you and me, that's good. For an NFL linebacker, not as impressive. He'll be thrown in that DEOLB mix with Tully Banta-Cain, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham and Eric Moore. As for Williams, he's not very well known. At all. He's got some flexibility, having played safety in junior college. He's solidly build and compact at 5-9, 204 and he runs a 4.48 40. Kid's got special teams written all over him, at least at the start.

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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


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.