By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The news of the Chandler Jones trade should not have floored anyone who was paying attention to the Patriots’ situation or the ever-fattening market for free-agent defensive ends. It should not surprise anyone that the Patriots initiated the trade talks with the Arizona Cardinals, either. Moving the Pro Bowl pass rusher was clearly on the team’s agenda, considering their pressing needs to re-sign other key pieces of the defense.

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One man who was not expecting a call from Bill Belichick or Nick Caserio, however, was Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Arians said at the NFL Owners Meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. that he was “shocked” to hear that the Patriots approached them about sending the super-talented Jones their way.

“[Cardinals General manager] Steve Keim did an unbelievable job working with [the Patriots] and finding the right fit in the trade,” said Arians. “We went into the offseason wanting to improve our pass rush. Free agency wasn’t what we were looking at as far as dollars for certain guys. That cured us for a long time. They got something they needed. We got something we needed. I think it was a great trade for both sides.”


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The Cardinals know they got a good player in Jones, but it could be a few years before it can determined how the Patriots made out in the deal. They received the 61st pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and guard Jonathan Cooper, who has struggled with multiple injuries and failed to live up to his first-round potential in his first three seasons.

Arians added that the Cardinals will be working to retain Jones before letting him leave as a free agent. Considering the $85 million deal Olivier Vernon got from the Giants, they will need to clear plenty of salary cap space – and, more importantly, allocate substantial real-life capital – to keep Jones aboard.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.