BOSTON (CBS) — News broke of the Chandler Jones trade smack-dab in the middle of Tuesday’s Felger & Massarotti program. Fortunately, Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard was in studio, and he offered his immediate reaction.
The Patriots traded away Jones, who is entering the final year of his contract, in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick in this year’s draft.
Mazz said the deal, while big, is not shocking.
“I don’t think a lot of people are surprised by this,” Massarotti said. “Certainly, the Patriots weren’t going to be able to sign all the players they have on defense, Jamie Collins is coming up, Dont’a Hightower is coming up, they’re going to have to re-do Malcolm Butler here as well, as we have noted. You’ve got Rob Gronkowski out there indicating, wink-wink, however passive-aggressively that he may be underpaid. Julian Edelman may be underpaid in the eyes of many. A lot of contract issues, and Chandler Jones was another guy that was going to have to be paid. And we started talking about this months ago, maybe a year ago. It was my feeling at the time that Chandler Jones was going to be the odd man out, and I think a lot of people felt that way. Now he is officially gone.”
Bedard said the trade has the potential to help both teams.
“This solves weaknesses for both teams. The Cardinals are really hurting on guys that bring outside pressure,” Bedard said. “The Patriots obviously have had issues on the offensive line interior. Cooper, he and Chance Warmack in that 2013 draft were looked at as no-doubt, top-10, rocks for your offensive line. It hasn’t worked out for either of them. Both of them have been severe underachievers, to the point where Cooper was benched last year for Ted Larsen, who could not stick around here. Basically, the Patriots had no use for him [in 2010].
“[Cooper] has talent. He’s immensely talented. Now he gets to work with Dante Scarnecchia. Obviously Scar liked him coming out or they wouldn’t have done this move. But I like the deal, I like getting rid of Jones. You have Jabaal Sheard, you have some of the younger guys who can play. This probably sets up Chris Long, or some type of veteran, to come in and work with Rob Ninkovich, Sheard, and a third guy, and they’ll have the younger guys. I like the move. It certainly doesn’t hurt, and it clears Jones off the salary cap.”
After having drafted two guards (Tre’ Jackson, Shaq Mason) last year, and having Bryan Stork and David Andrews on the depth chart at center, Cooper joins a crowded mix of players on the interior.
“I think you need to read into it a little bit, but it’s not like those guys were first-round picks,” Bedard said. “Some of them are going to be hit and miss. You can’t go into another season and say, ‘We’re going to count on these guys,’ because maybe they’ll work out, maybe they won’t. I think they just needed to give themselves more options.”
While the prospect of adding a No. 7 overall pick is an exciting one, Bedard cautioned not to go overboard.
“Cooper got benched in Arizona. That’s not even a good offensive line. So let’s not pencil him into the lineup right now.”
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