Arizona Cardinals elated with Steve Keim’s 2016 acquisition

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) Chandler Jones
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) Chandler Jones /

The 2016 trade that brought Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals may be Steve Keim’s greatest contribution to the franchise

Back in 2016, the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals was on a mission to secure a pass-rusher. With some assistance from the New England Patriots, Steve Keim succeeded in landing one of the NFL’s best. Let’s just call that acquisition the gift that keeps on giving.

The trade that brought sack specialist Chandler Jones to the Cards may go down as the best maneuver of Keim’s seven-year tenure. It’s mind-boggling to think that the club got such an outstanding player for just a second-round pick and draft bust Jonathan Cooper. Anyone who witnessed Jones’ performance during Arizona’s 27-21 victory over the New York Giants would have to agree that Keim got the better of that deal.

Jones terrorized Giants quarterback Daniel Jones on a consistent basis throughout the contest. The 29-year old Cardinal took the rookie to the turf four times, upping his sack total to 8.5 through seven games. Jones now trails just Shaq Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9) and Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns (9) in that category.

For some unknown reason, the talented Jones has been severely underrated for most of the eight campaigns he has spent in the league. The former first-round selection of the Patriots was somehow left off of the NFL Network’s top-100 list of 2019. When reminded of Jones’ snub during Sunday’s post-game press conference, Cards head coach Kliff Kingsbury rightfully pointed out that the show definitely needs to do a “re-vote”.

The much-maligned Keim has obviously done some good things during his reign as Arizona’s GM. A trade that brought former starting signal-caller Carson Palmer to the Cardinals back in 2013 was also a feather in the cap of the two-time “NFL Executive of the Year”. Some of Keim’s most impressive draft choices over the past seven seasons include David Johnson, Budda Baker, Tyrann Mathieu, Haason Reddick and Chase Edmonds.

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After watching Jones in action over the past four seasons, it’s difficult to fathom why New England would give up on him. Organizations that have won six Super Bowl championships don’t make many mistakes. Kudos to Keim for fleecing Bill Belichick and the Pats for the rights to the incredibly productive Jones.