Chandler Jones Trade Review
On March 15 2016, the New England Patriots traded defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for Jonathan Cooper and the Cardinals’ second-round pick (61).
Jones, who led the Patriots with 30 sacks over the past three years was assumed to be a big piece of the puzzle moving forward in New England. While Cooper, who has been a major bust at guard since being drafted 7th overall in 2013 was slated to move to center for 2016 in hopes of saving his NFL career.
When the trade first broke, everyone freaked out and said “Wow, Chandler Jones to the Cardinals!? Did the Pats get duped in a deal for once!?” That quickly turned into, “well Jones has off-field issues and they lost a top pick due to deflate gate so it’s actually a smart move by the Pats”.
A typical reaction when the subject is a organization with such a tremendous track record of success. It’s hard to ever fault the Pats for any moves they make because even when they don’t look good at first, they often end up turning out quite well. I think we’ve all learned to shut our mouths on that front.
But I must speak up on this trade. I will not be another “yes-man”, one of the fellow “another solid move for the Pats” guys. We subliminally wear rose coloured glasses at anything Belichick or the Pats do, but I had a moment of clarity and managed to shed them for a second and immediately realized…Cards fans must be ecstatic about this move.
Think of the Cardinals defense swarming all around in a sea of red. All they were missing was a pass rush. That’s pretty much all anyone has talked about this off-season regarding the Cardinals. Tyrann Mathieu’s health, and getting a pass-rush. They didn’t land any rushers in free agency, so the draft was all that was left. But, how much could a rookie pass-rusher really help them? Four to eight sacks is a successful year for a rookie. Jones had 12.5 last season, including 4 forced fumbles.
Arizona got as far as they did this season with the late addition of Dwight Freeney as their sack specialist. He did well with 8 sacks of his own in just 11 games, but he is now another year older (36) and cannot anchor a team like he once did. Freeney still remains a free agent.
The Pats signed Chris Long in hopes of replacing some of Jones’ production, and will surely address the position in the draft. The Cardinals signed Evan Mathis. At this point in their careers Long is hoping he can still play in the NFL, while Mathis graded out 2015 as one of the best run-blockers in the league and won a Super Bowl starting for the Denver Broncos.
Arizona wins again.