The New England Patriots had a busy day on Tuesday as they traded defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round draft pick. Later on Tuesday, it was announced that the Patriots had signed defensive end Chris Long (formerly of the St. Louis/LA Rams) to a one-year contract.
Putting my Adam Schefter cap on: got a source who just told me Chris Long to the Pats is a done deal
— Mike Flanagan (@fLAno0) March 16, 2016
Long tweeted this shortly after the news broke of his one-year contract signing:
This is an opportunity and I am so thankful!!! Whatever it takes!!! See you soon Boston. GO PATS
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 16, 2016
The Chandler Jones trade may have surprised much of Patriots Nation, but after Jones was reportedly involved in an incident where he needed to be treated for synthetic marijuana use, it was only a matter of time until Bill Belichick found a way to get him out of town. Many Patriots fans were quick to criticize Belichick for giving up Jones and leaving a hole on their front seven, but failed to look at the big picture. With Chris Long now signed, it seems that Belichick’s plan has perfectly fallen into place.
Chris Long’s presence will allow the Patriots to fill in the void at defensive end with Jones now playing out in the desert, and the addition of Jonathan Cooper gives the Patriots depth they so desperately needed on their offensive line. The second round draft pick may also prove to be key as New England lost their 2016 first round selection due to penalties from Deflategate.
New England now has two second round picks in this year’s draft, more depth on their offensive line in Jonathan Cooper, a solid defensive end in Chris Long, and they were able to avoid giving up Jones for nothing during 2017 free agency, as he is currently in the final year of his contract. Say what you want about Bill Belichick and the Patriots but they had themselves quite the day on Tuesday making some pretty impressive moves.