It wasn’t a huge surprise when the Patriots dealt star defender Chandler Jones to the Cardinals this offseason. After all, the organization has multiple defenders who are impending free agents, so it was unlikely to retain the entire core. Furthermore (as Jones previously pointed out), New England doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to re-signing their own guys.
Appearing on Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, president Jonathan Kraft addressed the circumstances that surrounded the Jones trade (via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss):
“We’ll end up being pretty close to the [salary] cap this year, I’m sure. Whatever money we don’t use, we roll over,” Kraft said. “We use every cap dollar that we can have, but there are just different strategies for how you deploy it. Chandler is a great football player and it will be fun to see him that opening day [Sept. 11]. And Chandler did wonderful things in the community here too; he’s a good man.”
“Obviously, when you have great football players, given the constraints of the salary cap, you want to try to keep all of them. You keep as many as you possibly can, and in some cases you have to make difficult decisions,” Kraft added. “Chandler Jones is a great football player and was an important part of the Patriots for the last [four] years. But you have to look at everything and weigh the amount of capital you’re going to have available and what all your choices are, and how deep your team is at certain positions, and what the value can be for somebody else, and how you can take that value and use it for your own team.
“That’s a good example where we tried to do something that allowed us, looking forward, to take all the assets associated with the team and end up with the best possible scenario in terms of what you could actually have on the club.”
Let’s take a look at some other notes out of the AFC East…
- Kraft also admitted that the Jones trade was partly motivated by future transactions. “If Chandler is going to be an unrestricted free agent … you know what, he’s going to get paid on the open market — and you look down on your roster and see who else is coming [up to free agency], and you see the type of depth you have at certain positions — if there wasn’t the salary cap, you might make different decisions,” he said.
- Linebacker Julian Stanford is an under-the-radar player making a case to make the Jets‘ 53-man roster, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. A third-year free agent from New York’s Wagner College, Stanford tied teammate Rontez Miles for the most special-teams snaps in Thursday night’s preseason opener (17) and has impressed in practice. For a full view of the Jets’ depth chart, check out their page on Roster Resource.
- Dolphins rookie safety Jordan Lucas is likely headed to the practice squad, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Assuming Chris Culliver starts the season on the PUP, the final defensive back spot could come down to Chimdi Chekwa or Brandon Harris. “Harris is a veteran guy that knows how to play,” said defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. “There’s a lot to be said for that. He’s a great kid, hard worker and he knows how to play with leverage.”
Zach Links contributed to this post.