According to multiple reports, the Patriots will send defensive end Chandler Jones to Arizona for guard Jonathan Cooper and the No. 61 pick in this year’s draft.
— ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2016
Jones is coming off the best season of his career. He had 12.5 sacks and earned the first Pro Bowl selection of his career. But he was heading into the final year of his contract, and January’s mysterious situation surrounding synthetic marijuana may have further pushed Jones to the trade block for New England.
Cooper was an underachiever in Arizona since being drafted seventh overall in 2013, as a broken leg caused him to miss his entire rookie season and he was benched after nine starts at right guard last season. There was talk that Cooper would move to center next season, but if that move happens it will obviously now come to fruition in New England.
New England needs plenty of offensive line help, and Cooper will at least add competition to all three interior spots. He may never live up to his status as a top-10 pick, but the Patriots don’t need Cooper to be a Pro Bowler and a change of scenery should benefit him.
Both teams will fill significant needs with this trade. The Cardinals have a very good defense, but pass rushing help was an offseason need after Dwight Freeney led the team in sacks as a part-time player last season. If his head is on right, Jones can be the type of pass-rushing force that Arizona needs if it hopes to be a Super Bowl contender again next season. If Cooper can stay healthy and prove capable of keeping a starting job, the Patriots will be happy with their end of the trade, too.