The New England Patriots had to make a business decision this offseason and decided to receive immediate compensation for the inevitable departure of edge defender Chandler Jones.
Jones was set to be a free agent after the 2016 season and the Patriots were likely unable to retain his services, with linebackers Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins, cornerback Malcolm Butler, and even fellow edge defender Jabaal Sheard all due for new deals.
If Jones signed a big deal in free agency, the Patriots could have received a 2018 3rd round pick, but that would have tied the hands of head coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio and prevent them from adding any top tier player.
Instead, the Patriots decided to send Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for former top 10 pick and offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 2nd round pick. The Patriots flipped that 2nd round pick for two picks and added 3rd round guard Joe Thuney and 4th round receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
Jones, for his part, is joining a strong Cardinals team that is likely to compete in the NFC. In a twist of fate, the Cardinals open up their season by hosting the New England Patriots. That fact hasn't passed Jones, as he went on Sirius XM NFL radio to talk about his departure from the Patriots.
Jones has circled the game against the Patriots and says the NFL told him that he will probably be mic'd up. Jones was a joy to watch and his teammates love him, so hearing him smack talk left tackle Nate Solder could be a fun treat. Hopefully he won't add any sacks against quarterback Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo.
Listen to the interview here: