Photo credit: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The New England Patriots were supposed be in trouble. The team had lost their 1st round draft pick in 2016 due to their part in the Deflategate fiasco and they had to address their offensive line to ensure Brady has enough time to operate in the pocket. While most teams would be hand cuffed in this situation the Patriots found a way to make a little magic happen (like they always do). The team sold high on their top pass rusher Chandler Jones who recorded 12.5 sacks in 2015 by trading Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round draft pick. The move is a good move for the Patriots because Jones was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2016 season and the Patriots would of had to pay him a mega-contract. Something the Patriots typically don’t like to do and it was better for the Patriots to receive something for Jones instead of letting him walk in free agency for nothing. On top of that there were some character concerns with Jones as well. Jones showed up to the Foxborough police station shirtless and high on synthetic marijuana during the week building up to the AFC championship game. Belichick was clearly reluctant to hand over a lucrative contract to someone who didn’t even have the sense to avoid an incident like that in the playoffs. While losing Jones will set the team back in terms of rushing the passer. The team then added Chris Long to the mix to help minimize the lost of Jones. Long is a good player and maybe a fresh start in the prestigious New England system will be enough to resurrect his career. What was so great about the trade and landing Long though, is the fact that New England will still have a productive player to replace Jones, they add a much needed offensive lineman, and the team adds a 2nd round draft pick. Now the Patriots can use both of their second round draft picks to help overcome the loss of their docked first round pick and ultimately it’s just another case of New England overcoming the odds and being better at maneuvering to acquire talent than everybody else. Give Belichick a lot credit he is the brains of the operation and he never seizes to amaze us. Imagine where that organization would be without him?
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