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Buffalo Bills interested in free-agent DE Chandler Jones, per report

Could the Bills welcome the WNY native?

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

There have been some wisps of smoke connecting former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones to the Buffalo Bills. Those wisps became full-blown smoke on Friday when Jordan Schultz linked Jones to the Bills among a host of other teams.

Jones (aged 32) was born in Rochester, NY, where the Bills currently host training camp and he attended Syracuse University after playing his high school ball south of the Finger Lakes at Union-Endicott, so it would be a homecoming of sorts.

Named to the 2010s All-Decade team, Jones was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He won a Super Bowl in New England before being traded to the Arizona Cardinals in 2016. He’s coming off a mammoth five-year contract with Arizona. In 2021, he notched 10.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Jones would certainly slot in at starting defensive end opposite Greg Rousseau, but he’s consistently played more than 84% of his team’s snaps on defense. In Buffalo, he would get more of a breather than that, as the Bills love to rotate. Jerry Hughes led all defensive ends on the Bills at just under 52% of the snaps a year ago.

Spotrac has Jones’s market value at $14.5 million per season on a three-year deal. Buffalo would have to get creative managing the cap to fit Jones, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.