There’s always some disappointment that comes with leaving a perennial Super Bowl contender, but Chandler Jones has found the silver lining.
The veteran defensive end was traded from the New England Patriots to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason in a move that surprised a few people, including the Cardinals themselves. And while Jones’ chances of success obviously take a hit after leaving New England, he’s in a pretty good spot with the Cardinals, who were one of the best teams in the NFL last season at 13-3.
Apparently Jones appreciated Patriots coach Bill Belichick dealing him to another contender.
“I didn’t get a chance to speak to him (the day of the trade) — he was on a flight or something,” Jones said Wednesday in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “But I called him the next day and said, ‘Hey, you could’ve traded me to any other team, so thank you for not trading me to a crappy team.’ ”
According to Jones, he used a more colorful adjective than “crappy,” and Belichick responded to his comment with a laugh. (We can’t confirm the second part.)
Jones’ departure wasn’t totally devoid of controversy, as the 26-year-old was involved in a bizarre incident in January involving synthetic marijuana that some believe played a role in the Patriots trading him for offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick.
But Jones knew the biggest reason why he was traded, and now that he’s outside Gillette Stadium’s walls, he had no problem admitting it.
“They’re not known for really paying guys over there,” Jones said. “There were rumors going around that I might be traded, but you never really read too much into rumors. When it happened, it was just a tad shocking. But I packed my bags and moved on.”
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images