Yesterday, the New England Patriots made a shocking albeit not 100% surprising move: the team traded away its arguably best pass rusher, defensive end Chandler Jones, for unproved but talented offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and the Arizona Cardinals' second round draft pick this year (selection #61).
Ever since former Miami Dolphin Olivier Vernon signed a 5-year, $85.0 million contract with the New York Giants, the writing was on the wall that Jones would eventually leave New England. After all, the market value of edge rushers has increased substantially lately and the Patriots need money to keep defensive cornerstones like Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Malcolm Butler, who are all entering the last year of their respective deals.
Therefore, moving on from Jones made sense even prior to the trade. The only question was "when?", and it was answered yesterday.
While the Cardinals will get a known commodity, the Patriots are left with some question marks regarding the return – a first-round bust and a draft selection – and remaining defensive edge depth. However, New England now has one less expiring contract for a core defender to worry about, especially considering that Jones would likely have left the team after 2016 anyway.
Putting all those points into account, the deal looks like a good one for both teams involved. What do you think of the move?