The New England Patriots have reportedly agreed to trade defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for offensive guard Jonathan Cooper.

Patriots Reportedly Trade DE Chandler Jones to Cardinals

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Marie Russini reported that the Patriots will also receive a second-round draft pick. Arizona reached the NFC Championship Game despite ranking 20th in the NFL with 36 sacks.

Jones, 26, played an incredible season in 2016, logging a career-high 12.5 sacks in his fourth NFL season. Cooper, the No. 7 overall pick of the Cardinals in 2013, has played in 24 games over the past two seasons and started in just 11.

Jones was on track to become a free agent after this season, and the Pats probably had no intention of re-signing him to a contract worth $85 million like the one Olivier Vernon signed with the New York Giants just last week. Jones was scheduled to earn $7.79 million as part of the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. He is one of several core defenders whose contracts were set to expire after the 2016 season.

Jones was also involved in a rather embarrassing incident earlier this year, which led to speculation that he was taking drugs. Last January, the DE walked into Foxboro Police station one morning shirtless, and then proceeded to get down on his knees and put his hands behind his head, as if surrendering to arrest. Jones also began behaving as if he was praying, according to certain witness statements. He was hospitalized after suffering a bad reaction to a substance he took.

Jones, 26, was not arrested or disciplined by the team, and later apologized for what he called “a pretty stupid mistake.” It is possible that this incident also played a factor in New England’s decision to trade him. A first-round draft selection in 2012, Jones had 36 sacks in 55 career games with the Patriots.

DENVER, CO – JANUARY 24: Michael Schofield #79 of the Denver Broncos blocks Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

 

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