Grading the Patriots-Cardinals Chandler Jones trade

Sam Monson takes a look at the trade that will send Chandler Jones to Arizona in exchange for Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick.

| 7 months ago
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Grading the Patriots-Cardinals Chandler Jones trade


The deal: The New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals have reportedly agreed to a trade that will send Chandler Jones to Arizona, with the Patriots receiving the Cardinals’ second-round pick and former first-round guard Jonathan Cooper in return.

What it means for New England: The Patriots clearly lost faith in Jones, who is heading into the final year of his contract. A bizarre incident in January, where Jones showed up to a police station shirtless and allegedly high on synthetic marijuana, likely hurt his standing with the Pats, who have PFF College-favorite Trey Flowers waiting in the wings to get more playing time in his second year. The Patriots get a second-round pick in return, allowing them the flexibility to move up in the draft and select a player higher than the 60th pick they currently occupy; they also get to take a stab at reclaiming Cooper, a player they were apparently high on when he was coming out of North Carolina in 2013.

Cooper lost a year of his career to injury, and has been below-average at best when on the field. He surrendered 22 total pressures and was even benched in favor of Ted Larsen last season. The Patriots had a poor O-line last season (ranked 25th), so they will be hoping they can unearth the potential Cooper flashed that made him such a highly-touted prospect.

Grade for New England: C+

What it means for Arizona: The Cardinals likely wanted to get rid of Cooper as little more than a salary dump, as they were in the process of moving him to center to try and find a position they believed him to be viable at.

The more important part of the trade, from Arizona’s point of view, is sending a second-round pick to New England in exchange for Chandler Jones. In the Patriots’ multiple fronts, Jones has been moved to several different positions, and the only one he has really struggled at was 3-4 defensive end.

If the Cardinals want to employ him as a stout edge defender, he is more than capable of repaying them with significant pressure and an impressive run-defense grade. Last season, he totaled 62 defensive pressures, which is a marked improvement over anybody on the Arizona roster. Rookie Markus Golden showed well for them in his first season, and could potentially form a nice pair of edge defenders for a team that has been struggling to find pass-rush on the perimeter for some time.

Grade for Arizona: B

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • King Pelé

    Jones is certainly a improvement over any edge rusher in the Cardinals roster while Cooper isn’t even guaranteed to start in the NE o-line. However the Cardinals traded a 2nd round pick for a guy who’ll most likely leave for free at the end of the season, unless of course the Cardinals are dumb enough to overpay Jones. Don’t let his sack numbers fool you, Jones can never put consistent pressure on the opposing team QB, especially on big games.

  • SeattleSteve

    I’d be a bit uneasy nabbing a patriot pass rusher.
    Tully Banta-Cain, Andre Carter, etc. have all bombed elsewhere.
    Rob Nikovich was a bust til he wound up in their system.

    I’d avoid New England’s Wideouts and pass rushers.

    • Joe

      I’m not sure I follow your examples as Banta-Cain was unimpressive in his first stint with New England and Carter was a relatively solid player in San Fran and Washington.

  • Tim Edell

    Chandler Jones is an all around stud but the Pats have a lot of players heading to FA ( Collins and Hightower) that they will need to lock up. If the Cards can sign Jones to an extension I think its a win win, favoring the Cards, for both teams.

  • crosseyedlemon

    This deal is like trading yesterdays Burger King meal for a couple of Wendy’s coupons. The Cardinals and Patriots may be favored to win their divisions next season but they have to do more than this.

  • codered5

    I feel like there is just an assumption that if bill belichick made the deal it favored his side greatly. The cardinals got the better of the deal as long as they are comfortable re-signing chandler. I think Arians will be good for him and he gives them exactly what they needed. The Patriots weren’t going to pay him anyway because of not so much “character concerns” but kraft couldnt give a guy involved in such an embarrassing incident a big contract.

    • snoth cambin

      Don’t sensationalize the trade.

      • codered5

        You’re right I was sensationalizing the trade. I won’t do it any more

  • Brian

    Personally I think jones is overrated. He has always played a very high percentage of snaps yet never has the stats to show for it. It always seemed that he could dominate lesser competition yet disappear against solid to elite competition. Which is part of the reason why I think this is more of a win for ne not arizona. Arizona gave up a 2nd to have jones for a year then either lose him or have to him way way more than he’s worth. I personally think it would be better to let him walk and get a 3rd rounder back in compensation thus only trading a 2nd for a 3rd for a year of jones. I don’t think jones is the game changing player u sink 10% or more of your cap into. And come on, we are talking about belichick. He’s not in the business of giving away anything.