What are the odds of the Patriots reuniting with Chandler Jones?

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots haven’t come out as overwhelming losers in many of their recent trades, but the Chandler Jones deal was one of Bill Belichick’s missteps. After recording 36 sacks in four seasons, Jones was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for Jonathan Cooper and the pick that eventually became Cyrus Jones.

Jones is one of the biggest reasons — if not the unquestioned biggest one — that Vance Joseph’s defense has supplemented what Kyler Murray is bringing to the table on offense. Jones is still one of the league’s best pass rushers despite the fact that he will be 32 years old soon.

While the Patriots have one star pass rusher in Matt Judon and some young pass ones in Ronnie Perkins and Josh Uche that could break out this season, they could decide to spurn the younger options and create a hellacious tandem with Judon and Jones on either side.

ESPN already listed the Patriots as the “best team fit” for Jones, citing a scheme that could be very friendly to his style of play and New England’s apparent newfound willingness to splurge on veteran players in free agency.

The New England Patriots could use Chandler Jones.

Over the last six seasons, Jones has recorded 71.5 sacks. This includes two separate seasons of 17 and 19 sacks with a pair of top-three finishes in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. Jones has been effective despite some iffy supporting talent around him prior to this season.

While Joseph is a bit more static than Belichick in terms of how much he varies his defensive formations, as well as the reality that Jones might not be as sharp of a run defender as he was in his prime, games like his season-opening evisceration of the Titans go to show that he can still wreck a game-plan when he’s at his best.

While Judon recorded 12.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl last season, the next-best mark on the team was potential cap casualty Kyle Van Noy, who had five. Third place was shared by Uche (who played sparingly) and Deatrich Wise (an average pass rusher) thanks to their three sacks.

The second Jones puts that No. 95 back on and returns to the Patriots, he will be an impact pass rusher that will give Belichick the freedom to devise even more creative packages for his young guys. It just depends if the Pats can fit this under their tight cap situation.