Is it too early to judge the best moves of the offseason? Apparently not. ESPN's John Clayton ranked the best 10 offseason moves in the NFL so far this offseason, and the Arizona Cardinals are near the top. They come in third with their trade to acquire Chandler Jones.
The trade that sent defensive end Chandler Jones to the Cardinals could end up as a win for both teams. From the Patriots standpoint, they couldn't afford to keep Jones, Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins, and sign them all to long-term deals. From the Cardinals standpoint, this was a no-brainer. They acquired Jones, an elite pass-rusher, for a second-round pick and Cooper, whose contract was expiring. The Patriots made a smart adjustment. Sure, they lose Jones, but they can fill some of the void with the signing of Chris Long, and now they have two second-round picks in a draft deep with quality defenders.
I don't think you will find anyone who will say the deal was bad for Arizona. As Clayton writes, the trade "was a no-brainer." If you have the chance to acquire a top end pass rusher who is young and still relatively cheap, you do it.
Will the Cardinals miss the second round pick? Perhaps, but Jones is better than anybody the Cardinals could possibly draft with that pick. Will they miss Cooper? Based on what we have seen, nope.
It might end up being a rare win-win trade. Arizona gets a pass rusher they covet and the Pats can keep retooling. With the Cardinals already an elite team in the league, adding Jones keeps them in the mix of Super bowl contenders, filling a gaping void of a weakness the team has had.
That qualifies as a great move. Does it deserve the third best, or should it be higher?