It’s not often that Pro Bowl defensive ends are traded in the NFL, but on Tuesday that is exactly what happened. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots have traded DE Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round draft pick.
Cards-Pats blockbuster from @diannaESPN and me: Cards trade G Jonathan Cooper + 2nd-rd pick to NE for DE Chandler Jones, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2016
This after a season when Jones, who is just 26 years old, recorded a career-high 12.5 sacks. However, he was set to make nearly $8 million this upcoming season and the Patriots do have a glut of quality options at the defensive end position.
Jones also has a strange history with substance abuse, including a trip to the hospital after a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana during the Patriots playoff run. He likely didn’t help his case with that incident.
With the Patriots not having a first round draft pick as part of the punishment for the Deflategate incident, this trade makes a ton of sense on both fronts.
Adding a second-round draft pick helps the team offset that loss, and acquiring a former first-round draft pick like Cooper can’t hurt an offensive line that was eaten alive by the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game last season.
For the Cardinals’ part, the trade also makes sense. Cooper has been struggling to maintain a place in the starting lineup and had an injury-plagued 2015 season that also saw him benched even when healthy.
Giving Cooper up for Jones gives the Cardinals a huge addition to a defense that was missing just a piece or two to become a truly dominant force. Adding a pass-rushing end like Jones to the mix will certainly add to the already dangerous defense being built in Arizona.