In the most surprising trade of the year so far, Chandler Jones is heading from New England to Arizona.
Jones has been traded from the Patriots to the Cardinals in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick, Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini of ESPN report.
The Cardinals believed heading into the offseason that their biggest need was a pass rusher, and now they have a very good one. This is the kind of trade that could put the Cardinals over the top and make them Super Bowl favorites.
But there are also risks: Jones is heading into the final year of his contract in 2016, and it’s possible that Jones will leave Arizona in free agency a year from now. The potential of Jones leaving in free agency is surely part of the Patriots’ calculation in making this trade.
Cooper was considered one of the best guard prospects ever when the Cardinals took him with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, but he’s struggled with injuries and generally been a disappointment. The Patriots must still think he has a lot of potential — perhaps more potential in the future than Jones, even though on first blush it would appear that the Cardinals got the better player in this deal.