In breaking news the Patriots just traded Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals. Literally just happened so I'm still digesting the move. At first glance it hurts, but frankly I love the move.
Chandler Jones had arguably his best year with the Patriots in 2015.. Pro Bowler, 12.5 sacks. He was also a key contributor to 4 teams that went to the AFC championship game, and had a sack in the Patriots Super Bowl XLIX victory. He's one of the better defensive ends in the NFL.
He's also in the last year of his deal and from what we've seen so far this offseason it is clear that pass rushers have been getting PAID.
If you know anything about the Patriots you know they aren't going to pay with the NFL thinks Chandler Jones is worth and frankly I don't blame them. He's a nice player and had a huge year but he's not worth upwards of 100 million dollars which is what he'll probably get in free agency. Especially after the whole synethenic weed situation where he ended up half naked at the police station it is clear the Patriots didn't want to invest in Jones long term.
With Jones and LBs Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower all being upcoming free agents after 2016 it was clear the Patriots most likely wouldn't be able to keep all three. Most Patriot fans I know and have talked to have agreed if you can only keep two Collins and Hightower are the two you keep. Clearly the Pats feel the same way. Hopefully this move will allow the Patriots to lock up Jamie and Dont'a to long term deals. As good as Jones is, they can afford to lose him. The defensive line is a position of strength on this team with a lot of depth he was clearly their best pass rusher but the other options the team has aren't too shabby.
What the Patriots are getting in return is offensive linemen Jonathon Cooper and a 2nd round pick. Personally I think that is a great return for Jones who is in the last year of his deal. Patriots weren't going to resign him and decided they'd rather get something for him now than just lose him next offseason.
Plus the Pats addressed two huge areas of need: Offensive line and draft capital. All Patriot fans and people with eyes can probably agree that this teams biggest issue was the offensive line. They couldn't protect Brady in the AFC championship game. Despite how bad the line played they were still a two point conversion away from forcing overtime where IMO they most likely would have won based on how Denver's offense played after halftime. Now with Jonathon Cooper, a former first round pick they have another linemen which they desperately needed.
The Patriots also are getting the Cardinal's 2nd round pick which is the 61st in the draft. After the whole deflate gate saga where despite no concrete evidence the Patriots lost their 1st round pick in this years draft. Now the Patriots have two 2nd round picks to help make up for that loss.
Chandler Jones was a fan favorite and also is Rob Gronkowski's best friend on the team so there is no doubt this move hurts in the short term, however I do think this is a great move for the Patriots. They moved a guy who is not in their long term plans and got a decent return for him. I hope this doesn't upset Gronk too much after he recently tweeted something that made it appear there is trouble in Paradise.
Regardless.....Chandler Jones is gone, that sucks he was great, but the return was very fair and should help the Patriots compete for their 5th Super Bowl championship in the 2016 season. I wish Chandler Jones the best of luck, he helped a lot when he was here, was a key part of a Super Bowl team, this is just the business of the NFL.