Bidwill: Chandler Jones will be a difference-maker for Cardinals

Mar 22, 2016, 10:33 AM | Updated: 3:50 pm
New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk C...
New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
LISTEN: Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals

Will Chandler Jones solve all of the Arizona Cardinals’ pass rushing problems? No.

However, will the 2015 Pro Bowler who tallied 12.5 sacks for the New England Patriots last season help a team that finished 20th in the league with 36 sacks, nine of which came in one game?

The answer to that question is the reason for why the Cardinals sent Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick to New England to land Jones.

“We all recognized what happened in the Super Bowl, in a pass rush and a strong defense wins championships,” Cardinals president Michael Bidwill told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. “And what we sought out to do with our free agency period was try to address the pass rusher — and we didn’t know how that was going to happen until we got into free agency, started having some conversations.”

In the early days of free agency the Cardinals were linked to Jason Pierre-Paul and Bruce Irvin, while the names Mario Williams, Tamba Hali and William Hayes were all brought up in connection to the team.

Arizona “missed” out on all of them, however, which led them down a different path and to Jones.

Bidwill praised Steve Keim and his staff for “crafting a true win-win trade with the New England Patriots,” and most of the national reviews of the trade seem to agree in that being the case.

In Cooper, the Cardinals parted with their 2013 first-round pick (seventh overall) who has shown flashes of potential but has yet to become the player Arizona thought it was getting, and the pick they surrendered is No. 61 overall in this upcoming draft.

But in Jones, the Cardinals got a player who offenses will have to account for every time they drop back to pass.

“We couldn’t be more excited about Chandler being on our team,” Bidwill said. “A 26-year-old pass rusher who’s a Pro Bowler and he’s got a lot of upside. He will be a difference-maker in our defense and for our team.”

In 55 career games Jones has notched 36 sacks, and he is one of three players in the NFL with at least 200 tackles, 36 sacks and 10 forced fumbles since 2012. The other two? J.J. Watt and Ryan Kerrigan.

Just twice since 2004 has a Cardinal finished a season with a double-digit sack total, which is a feat Jones has accomplished in two of the last three seasons.

Last week Keim said if he had known a while ago there was actually an opportunity to land Jones he would have approached the idea earlier, and Bidwill, understanding the magnitude of acquiring a player of Jones’ caliber but also early on not being aware of his availability, said there were “a number of different irons in the fire over the last several weeks, some that came to fruition.”

“You try not to get too excited over some of the things that we thought might happen, that didn’t happen, and so I try to keep a pretty level head about it,” he said. “But as we started that process and the negotiating process with the Patriots, and it started to become clear that we’re pretty close to getting this deal done, that’s when I started getting really excited about what it could mean for the 2016 Cardinals and improving our chances to win the NFC Championship and then win the Super Bowl.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
2 days ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
3 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
4 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
4 days ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
4 days ago
Bidwill: Chandler Jones will be a difference-maker for Cardinals