I'm not sure if this reveal is a major surprise, but Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told the press that the New England Patriots initiated the trade with former 1st round pick Chandler Jones. Arians said he was "shocked" that the Patriots were shopping a player of Jones' caliber.
Bruce Arians said Patriots initiated the discussions that ultimately resulted in the Chandler Jones trade. "Shocked" Jones was available.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 23, 2016
The Patriots flipped Jones, entering the final year of his contract, to the Cardinals in exchange for a 2nd round pick- 61st overall, giving the Patriots two consecutive picks at the end of the 2nd round- and 2013 7th overall pick Jonathan Cooper. Cooper was selected to play guard, but has been a bust in the NFL.
Arians had nothing but good things to say about Cooper.
Bruce Arians says G Jonathan Cooper had string of "bad luck" in Arizona, should benefit from fresh start w/ Patriots pic.twitter.com/uqovhOLjrD— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 23, 2016
Bruce Arians still thinks Jonathan Cooper will be a "heck of player." Said he has the makeup and is "tough as nails" pic.twitter.com/igdjuX6vCe— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) March 23, 2016
Sometimes a player will benefit from a change of scenery and the hope is that Cooper will dig deep to find the ability that made him a top 10 pick in the first place.
The Patriots were shopping Jones because they knew they wouldn't be able to retain him for the long term due to necessary contracts for Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Malcolm Butler, and Jabaal Sheard. He's about to cash in on a monster contract after this season and New England opted to receive as much compensation for Jones as they could receive.
A 2nd round pick and a former 7th overall pick is much more valuable to New England than a year of Jones and a possible 3rd or 4th round pick in 2018.
New England also values consistency more than anything out of their players and Sheard and Rob Ninkovich offer that in spades. Jones fell to 3rd on the depth chart behind Sheard and NInkovich after his police involvement resulting from a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana during the playoff bye week.