Chandler Jones: Patriots did what was best for the team by trading me

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The Patriots traded Chandler Jones to the Cardinals in 2016. In the four seasons since then, Jones has 60 sacks, the most of any player in the NFL in that time. So does Jones think he stuck it to the Patriots and proved they were wrong to get rid of him?

Not at all. Jones told Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com that he grasps the business of the NFL, and the fact that the Patriots are smart about not devoting too much salary cap space to any one player is part of the way they do business.

“When I spoke to Bill [Belichick] when I got traded, he told me it was best for the team; this was the best decision for our team,” Jones said. “At the time, I didn’t understand. That next year, they won the Super Bowl, so I did understand that was best for the team — saved money, and they actually went and won. There were no hard feelings at all. I understood it’s a business and it was what was best for the team.”

That’s a mature viewpoint, and a correct assessment of the Patriots’ approach to building a roster. Belichick simply doesn’t view defensive end as an important enough position in his defense to be worth spending big money. That’s why he traded Jones, and it’s also why he let Trey Flowers walk in free agency last year. Jones has played as well as the Cardinals possibly could have dreamed he would play since they acquired him, and yet the Patriots are surely satisfied with the trade as well. And Jones understands that.

40 responses to “Chandler Jones: Patriots did what was best for the team by trading me

  1. It was a win-win. Jones went to a team with a lot of cap space, New England ended up with Joe Thuney and on great half from Malcolm Mitchell. Belichick also extended Dont’a Hightower that year instead. He extended the right guy. Hightower’s Super Bowl performances are legendary.

    Jones was good, but he never had that big moment in New England. It seemed like he often would get sacks in garbage time and disappear in close games. Good for him though, few players get better after leaving New England. He’s making a case for the Hall of Fame.

  2. Which is why the system is slightly flawed.

    It’s great when its a win/win situation like this was. Chandler got his money, New England got another championship but at the end of the day you almost don’t want to “hit” big on a 1st round pick.

    There needs to be more incentive to retaining your own players that you drafted.

    It’d be a tricky situation if teams start getting cap credits though, as agents will use that in negotiations as a basis for getting more money.

    Pick 33 is where the value starts in the NFL draft.

  3. We could NOT afford Hightower, Jones, and Jamie Collins. That’s why in 2015, we drafted Trey Flowers and took the 2nd round pick for Chandler jones.

    Hindsight is 20-20 but had we not traded Chandler and signed him, HT would have been a casualty, and his postseason play alone warrants him staying (see okung vs HT before butler’s pick)

  4. Greatest GM and Coach in sports history. No way they go to 3 atraight sbs without Thuney and Mitchell (just the 1), winning 2 of them, by saving all that money too.

    BB has plenty of need for DE/OLB. Once he sees a market spike at a positIon, he doubles down on it in the draft or fa.

    Clearly, Flowers and Van Noy were the vastly superior investments.

  5. 8oneanddones says:
    February 8, 2020 at 9:52 am
    It was a win-win. Jones went to a team with a lot of cap space, New England ended up with Joe Thuney and on great half from Malcolm Mitchell. Belichick also extended Dont’a Hightower that year instead. He extended the right guy. Hightower’s Super Bowl performances are legendary.

    Jones was good, but he never had that big moment in New England. It seemed like he often would get sacks in garbage time and disappear in close games. Good for him though, few players get better after leaving New England. He’s making a case for the Hall of Fame.

    23 2 Rate This

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    Agree except for a HOF player. Look at your last paragraph. Stat collectors and selfish me players caring about stat collection only for media hype, is not enough for the hof.

    How can a guy who plays ok vs good competition or who disappears in big games be a HOF player? lol

  6. Ras I Dowling was 33rd for us in 2011 and he was injured more than Gronk/Adam McQuaid and Pedroia combined. You also have to look at the 2012 draft and see the idiocy of some GM’s. Rex took COPLES over HT/Chandler. My wifes bears took Shea McClellin whom belichick WANTED, but didnt think he would go THAT high. People said we were dumb for taking ‘Tower over Courtney Upshaw. It’s a crap shoot. if i recall correctly, we traded up for Chandler Jones, and then when Dont’a was still on the board, we traded back up with Cincinatti/houston to grab him before the Ravens did.

  7. This isn’t accurate on either count. First, the Patriots did not avoiding putting big money into one player – the same offseason that the Cardinals gave Jones his big extension, the Patriots gave a similar-sized contract to outside free agent Stephon Gilmore. Second, this has little to nothing to do with the Patriots not valuing the DE position. Rather, Jones and especially Flowers (a Baltimore-Ravens-type special, a mid round pick developed in the right system and then allowed to leave to be overpaid elsewhere while bringing back a comp pick) were appealing players of the sort the market OVERPAYS, and the Patriots aren’t in the cap position to overpay guys. They likely engaged Jones in extension talks with a retention number in mind, and once it was clear he wouldn’t accept that AND would get quite a bit more on the open market the team responded. It should also be recalled that Jones once had a bizarre off-the-field incident that might have turned the team off from being willing to commit so much to him.

  8. Chandler Jones has been awesome with the Cardinals….aaaannnndddd they still suck. The lesson is pretty obvious.

  9. .>First, the Patriots did not avoiding putting big money into one player – the same offseason that the Cardinals gave Jones his big extension, the Patriots gave a similar-sized contract to outside free agent Stephon Gilmore. Second, this has little to nothing to do with the Patriots not valuing the DE position.

    It depends on the player and the position. I think it’s clear that Belichick is unwilling to pay passrushers as much as the market will. That doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t pay any player big money. As you note, he gave Gilmore a big contract, and before that he gave Revis an even bigger contract (though for only one year).

    Belichick is more willing to pay linebackers than some GMs and less willing to pay big money to edge rushers than many GMs. He was able to let Chandler Jones go because he replaced a lot of that production with Trey Flowers for a lot less. He hasn’t yet replaced Trey Flowers, but still the defense was strong because of the LBs and secondary.

  10. A Credit to Jones though is that he continued to get better as the contract progressed. Despit the high price tag…he has played to that contract value, as opposed to many free agents whose production falls off a cliff.

    Talent wise… NE really disnt get enough back… 3 years after the trade.. NE is probably hone to facing the favt that the entire “haul” for Jones will be gone and they will have nary a single shred of that trade lesft on their roster.

  11. Depth at the position allows a team to let an Elite UFA leave. They end up spending more money in other areas, potentially get a Comp Draft Pick. Cap space saved as well.

    Sometimes it is in the best interest of the team to not pursue their Own Quality players

  12. jackedupboonie says:
    February 8, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Tom Brady would have been playing the past 4 years plus in a different uniform had he asked to be paid what he was worth.

    2

    0

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    Yep, and he’d be sitting at home on his couch in the playoffs.

  13. cakesw says:
    February 8, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    A Credit to Jones though is that he continued to get better as the contract progressed. Despit the high price tag…he has played to that contract value, as opposed to many free agents whose production falls off a cliff.

    Talent wise… NE really disnt get enough back… 3 years after the trade.. NE is probably hone to facing the favt that the entire “haul” for Jones will be gone and they will have nary a single shred of that trade lesft on their roster.

    6

    3

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    Joe Thuney is the best LG in the conference and should have been All Pro the last 4 years in a row, playing in a SB every year except for this year. He’s a free agent, set to cash in. The jealousy and anti-Pats bias with their constant winning and lack of media attention, likely means you have no idea who Joe Thuney even is. lol

    NE got plenty back in the trade. A top notch interior lineman would have demolished Chandler Jones 1:1 and about 17 million in cap space at the same time. NE won the trade in a landslide, if you’re weighing everything including the fact there is a cap. CHandler Jones is a good player, but he’s only a 4-3 guy, lacks versatility and pads stats against mediocare or bad competition. THuney performs well vs everyone.

    Chandler Jones will still be patting himself on his back this time next year on a 4-12 team and watching RBs whiz right past him as he surges too far up field on the pass rush for the 10th time in a game that day. lol

    So, good for CHandler Jones and good on you watching your team be losers over and over with BB setting the blueprint on what to do and what not to do when it comes to salary allocation and how vital that is to teambuilding.

    What’s next? BB can ‘t draft as he’s forced to walk from yet another homegrown player?

  14. chawk12thman says:
    February 8, 2020 at 3:41 pm
    Depth at the position allows a team to let an Elite UFA leave. They end up spending more money in other areas, potentially get a Comp Draft Pick. Cap space saved as well.

    Sometimes it is in the best interest of the team to not pursue their Own Quality players

    1 0 Rate This

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    It’s because BB has been drafting so well for so long, he had to pick and choose. All it takes is one moronic team with “tons of cap space” to overpay, spiking the market.

  15. gimmeabruschi says:
    February 8, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    A lot of mistakes don’t seem so bad when you have the GOAT to compensate for them.

    4 3 Rate This

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    What happened this year to Brady? He skipped otas again and was vry mediocre again.

    Try again.

  16. Everyone saying that he disappears in big moments and collects garbage time stats, clearly isn’t watching. He had two four sack games this past year and both resulted in wins. He also had a strip sack in week 1 that should’ve led to a win, but ended up tying. Arizona isn’t a big market and will never get attention from the MSM, but the commenters here just prove their ignorance.

  17. Patriots are falling apart. The old formula isn’t working. Going to be an embarrassing 2020.

  18. tylawspick6 says:
    February 8, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    What happened this year to Brady? He skipped otas again and was vry mediocre again.

    Try again.
    ————————–

    He ran right into Bills horrifically embarrassing offensive roster building of the last 2 years.

    Best WR’s- Gordon, lasted 1/4 season not at OTA’s, A. Brown- lasted 1 game, no OTA’s. Harry- most likely bad pick- next 7 WR’s taken were better- only played last 5 games. Sanu- A Bellichik “favorite” traded 2cnd round pick to get, so not at OTA’s, only played last 1/3 of season. J. Meyers- 4th option receiver at best. Gunner O.- Practice Squad level player. Shouldn’t have been on the team- embarrassing that he took a single snap. Nice kid though.

    S. Michel- wasted 1st round pick. Next 5 Running backs taken are all significantly better than.

    Tight End= Zero. Best Tight End on the team was a 38 y.o. guy who was RETIRED, and started the season on a 4 game suspension.

    So, yeah- Try Again!

  19. nflfan12blog says:
    February 8, 2020 at 6:31 pm
    tylawspick6 says:
    February 8, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    What happened this year to Brady? He skipped otas again and was vry mediocre again.

    Try again.
    ————————–

    He ran right into Bills horrifically embarrassing offensive roster building of the last 2 years.

    Best WR’s- Gordon, lasted 1/4 season not at OTA’s, A. Brown- lasted 1 game, no OTA’s. Harry- most likely bad pick- next 7 WR’s taken were better- only played last 5 games. Sanu- A Bellichik “favorite” traded 2cnd round pick to get, so not at OTA’s, only played last 1/3 of season. J. Meyers- 4th option receiver at best. Gunner O.- Practice Squad level player. Shouldn’t have been on the team- embarrassing that he took a single snap. Nice kid though.

    S. Michel- wasted 1st round pick. Next 5 Running backs taken are all significantly better than.

    Tight End= Zero. Best Tight End on the team was a 38 y.o. guy who was RETIRED, and started the season on a 4 game suspension.

    So, yeah- Try Again!

    0 0 Rate This
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    Well, the D won the SB last year for mediocre, Brady and selfish, annoying and snobby Brady who wanted both Sanu
    last spring and then demanded they sign mentally deranged Brown.

    Michel dominated last postseason. Do you even watch football, little guy, or just look for fantasy stats? lol

    What’s the matter, BB didn’t deliver another ring to your door this february? boo hoo, little millennial

    you were in diapers when we watched brady show up to otas and be the first player in the building and the last to leave. hard work is what made him. being entitled and above the team? Not so much.

    Part of me cannot wait for Brady to leave so the real fans can get rid of entitled and deluded little bubble boys like yourself.

  20. Simple, what’s more important, maximizing individual earnings or winning? Can make the same argument with every QB signing, for sure. But it’s the owners that agree to these salaries, no one holding a gun to their heads. Will be interesting to see who the next team is that allows their QB to walk because damage to the team is too great (someone else overpays).

  21. Tylaw… it isnt any anti Patriot Bias. There was none intended.

    My point still remains…. in 2020… the Patriots will have nothing left over from the trade, while Chandler Jones will more than likely still be playing at a high level for Arizona.

    Patriots also have to understand that this trade was not directly for Joe Thuney. The Patriots got lucky after the Patriots traded the pick that they obtained from Arizona. The rest of that draft was pedestrian at very, very best.

    We also dont really know how good Joe Thuney actually is… He had the benefit of playing in a system that makes everyone much better. Thuney will get a massive deal from another team in Free agency this season and we will see how he fares…. because honestly…

    What free agent has left the Patriots, or been traded from the Patriots and actually been good ??

    I think the list is as follows…

    1. Chandler Jones

  22. BB will never pay a one trick pony on either side of the ball 16-17 million dollars. He walked from Jones because Jones isn’t willing to improve his game and evolve in 3-4 looks.

    BB can draft a Chandler Jones type at #23 at far less the cost and that player will take the coaching and likely not smoke angel dust as well.

  23. it’s always tough when the pats lose great players and it’s a long long list. each time the outhouse experts and fans proclaim that this time BB’s “arrogance” has caught up to him or similar BS. the most idiotic comment is that he’s a poor gm. count the bling knuckleheads.

  24. I never said that BB was a poor GM, never even inferred it. I am merley stating that I dont think he got the better of the Jones deal.That doesnt negate any accomplishment the Pat’s have had and deserved.

    I do think, however, that the Patriots are finally succumbing to father time. Sure the experts have been calling for it for years, and they were proven wrong… but 2019 was different. That team FELT old… even during the 8-0 run… the eye test showed what was going on…they were winning games, but this was not the juggernaut weve deni. Past years.

    Come the second half of the season… there was absolutely no question that this team was both old and slow. Even the most die hard Pat’s fans have to agree or are delusional.

  25. Lol @MurryMania

    Joe Thuney and Malcolm Mitchell have contributed to one to three Super Bowl appearances by the Pats since the trade, and one or two (for Thuney) Super Bowl wins.

    How many sacks has Jones had with the Cards that mattered in that time frame? (Hint: 0)

    Pats won that trade by a landslide with Thuney alone.

    And I like Jones.

  26. Teams should have more leeway with the cap with retaining players they draft. I don’t mean for this to take away the ability of a player to leave, but for teams to be able to go above and beyond the cap if a certain portion is allocated to home grown talent. Losing drafted players is always disappointing.

  27. cakesw says:
    February 8, 2020 at 9:47 pm
    I never said that BB was a poor GM, never even inferred it. I am merley stating that I dont think he got the better of the Jones deal.That doesnt negate any accomplishment the Pat’s have had and deserved.

    I do think, however, that the Patriots are finally succumbing to father time. Sure the experts have been calling for it for years, and they were proven wrong… but 2019 was different. That team FELT old… even during the 8-0 run… the eye test showed what was going on…they were winning games, but this was not the juggernaut weve deni. Past years.

    Come the second half of the season… there was absolutely no question that this team was both old and slow. Even the most die hard Pat’s fans have to agree or are delusional.

    7 2 Rate This

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    Laughable. Millennials who love to make excuses for Brady sucking came up with that one.

    There is nothing “old and slow” about the league’s best D and top 5 STs unit.

    Get a life, Brady Fanboy.

    Brady…..Skipped otas and whined and pouted after A Brown went cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

    The only qb in nfl history to skip otas. 2 years in a row. Horrible leadership for a guy who preaches and demands it, then comes up empty throwing pick 6s at home to lose games and seeding. Sweet. Just awesome stuff from Tom there.

    Can’t wait for Mr Giselle to pull that crap again, letting the whole team
    down.

    “more time with my family” as he plays golf without his family.

  28. Tylawpick6…..,,,,,,

    The only qb in nfl history to skip otas. 2 years in a row. Horrible leadership for a guy who preaches and demands it, then comes up empty throwing pick 6s at home to lose games and seeding. Sweet. Just awesome stuff from Tom there.

    Can’t wait for Mr Giselle to pull that crap again, letting the whole team
    down.

    “more time with my family” as he plays golf without his family.

    ******************
    I would really love to know what team you actually root for. I think it would explain a lot. But, unfortunately, I don’t think you have the courage to say which team that is.

    When you have to resort to commentary about Brady’s family, you’ve lost any sort of intelligent debate.

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