Why the Arizona Cardinals should trade Chandler Jones

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Chandler Jones
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Chandler Jones /

The Chandler Jones trade watch has officially begun for the Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones has reportedly requested a trade and now the time has come for the team to move on from him. So why should the Cardinals send the edge rusher packing?

For one, Jones is a member of an Arizona team that brought in numerous free agents and players on the wrong side of 30, like Malcolm Butler, J.J. Watt, and Rodney Hudson, to name a few. The Cardinals are not getting younger, but they still have a solid mix of young and older players to at least contend for the playoffs in 2021.

Remember, Arizona was a solid contender for all of 2020 without Jones suiting up in 11 contests, so it’s clear the team knows how to win without his services. And they did this with a banged-up Kyler Murray, questionable play-calling, and leading the league in penalties.

Arizona Cardinals can survive in 2021 without Chandler Jones

With almost every position filled for 2021, including outside linebacker even without Jones, the Cardinals can accomplish two things by trading him for a 2022 draft pick.

One, they can still contend, as they proved in 2020, and two, they can simultaneously gear up for the future. At the end of the day, it’s a winning situation for both parties.

What would Jones be worth, given his struggles in 2020 even before his season-ending biceps injury? Odds are, Arizona could get at least a second-round pick, if not a first if they trade him to a projected contender. Especially since he’s not even two seasons removed from his magical 19-sack season in 2019.

The Cardinals are currently the only team in the NFC West with a first-round pick. So if they can snag yet another one or at least a second, it could put them at a huge advantage over their division rivals as things pertain to the future.

If Arizona trades Jones for a draft pick as opposed to a star player like Xavien Howard, it will give them four selections within the first three rounds of the 2022 draft.

The only caveat is the drafting track record of Cardinals general manager Steve Keim. And following the 2021 NFL Draft, his credibility remains in question given his first two picks, Zaven Collins and Rondale Moore.

Keim went with the best player on his board over need in the first, and Collins did himself no favors with his recent arrest for reckless driving.

Trending. 3 teams that could trade for Chandler Jones. light

But if the Cardinals trade Jones away for a high pick and if Keim strings together a few good selections, the risk possesses a huge reward factor for the franchise as they head deeper into the 2020s. And best yet, trading Jones for a draft pick means Arizona can still contend in 2021, with a lot to look forward to into the future.