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NE trades Chandler Jones to Arizona


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Two Super Bowl hopefuls have swung a fascinating trade.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Cardinals are shipping offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick to New England in exchange for Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, per two sources involved in the deal.

The swap fills a need for both teams.

The Cardinals nab a much-desired pass-rusher in Jones, who notched 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles during his fourth NFL campaign. His 36 takedowns over 52 starts give Arizona the type of pocket disruptor the Cardinals have missed for years. Jones was hospitalized in January for a bad reaction with synthetic marijuana, but the 2012 first-rounder leaves New England having proving his worth.

In Cooper, the Patriots land a young interior blocker with 24 starts over two seasons. Graded by Pro Football Focus as the league's 50th-ranked guard in 2015, Cooper -- the seventh player picked in the 2013 NFL Draft -- has yet to live up to his pedigree. The former North Carolina standout played on both the left and right side last autumn before losing his starting job to Ted Larsen midway through the campaign.

New England wouldn't make this trade unless Cooper has a chance to battle and unseat Shaq Mason or Josh Kline along a shaky interior line. The trade also hands New England an additional second-round selection, making up for the Patriots going without a pick in the first round.

That's a pretty dang good trade for Arizona. Jones, whether high on spice or not, is a beast.

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