Chris Jones trade speculation: Arizona Cardinals possible partner with Kansas City Chiefs?

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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Defensive tackle Chris Jones could become a big name on the NFL trade market.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero included the Kansas City defensive tackle in a list of defensive players who could be tagged and then traded during the offseason in a report earlier this week.

The Chiefs might not be able to afford keeping Jones when they have other big contracts to consider, especially a looming pay day for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Speculation surrounding Jones has been rampant all offseason and it has heated up this week.

The Arizona Cardinals are involved in a lot of that speculation.

Could Arizona trade for Jones?

NFL writers have weighed in on the possibility of Jones joining the Arizona Cardinals.

SB Nation listed the Cardinals among five potential trade partners with the Chiefs for Chris Jones.

It wrote: "An NFC team, Arizona has $39 million available. For the Cardinals, the motivation factor might not be strong; depending on how you look at it, you might consider this a 3/4. In his second year coaching a rebuilding team, I think their Kliff Kingsbury probably still has a long leash. With the number one overall pick at quarterback, he is still enjoying his honeymoon phase -- so if he tanks this year, it's doubtful he would be fired. I'm not sure the same can be said of the general manager, though. Steve Keim has been under fire a few times. Arizona is in the toughest division in football and will want to show progress. Jones could be a big help."

Bleacher Report listed the Cardinals as a realistic landing spot for Chris Jones.

Kristopher Knox wrote: "Another potential tag-and-trade destination is the Arizona Cardinals. Though not yet an NFC contender, Arizona is a young, rebuilding team that could use a premier defender like Jones up front. The Cardinals ranked 24th in run defense and 31st in pass defense in 2019. In Arizona, Jones would likely move back to defensive end in a 3-4 base—potentially replacing impending free agent Rodney Gunter. Pairing Jones with edge-rusher Chandler Jones would immediately give the Cardinals an intimidating pass rush.  And adding to the front is a goal for Arizona this offseason. 'We just want to get better, and obviously the defense is an area where we have to improve, particularly the front seven,' general manager Steve Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7's Doug & Wolf. Financially, the Cardinals can afford to pay both Joneses for the next couple of seasons—the incumbent Jones is signed through 2021. The team has $51.5 million in projected cap space and has second-year quarterback Kyler Murray on a rookie deal.

Cards Wire wrote that Chris Jones should be a priority target for the Cardinals.

Alex Sutton wrote:  "There is a long time until March 18th, when the new league year begins and free agents can officially sign with new teams. Jones has been very outspoken about wanting to be a Chief for the entirety of his career, but it remains to be seen if Kansas City will be financially able to make that a reality. Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is due for a monster payday, and the team just dished out heavy contracts to DE Frank Clark and WR Tyreek Hill. Recent rumors have suggested the Chiefs and WR Sammy Watkins may be parting ways, so that would generate some cap relief. The Chiefs may also be in the market for extending star tight end Travis Kelce, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports.  Between Mahomes and Kelce, the impending contract extensions facing the Chiefs could leave Chris Jones as the odd man out."

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (95) would be a huge addition to the Arizona Cardinals, were the team to acquire him in a trade.

Fansided listed the Cardinals as a potential landing spot for Chris Jones.

John McCarty wrote: "Loaded with young players led by 2019 top overall selection, the Arizona Cardinals are in an interesting spot to begin to load up on players with so many young players on the roster. While not quite as loaded with draft capital or cap room to the extent to which the Colts are, the Cardinals are still in a position to add talent to their roster. Per, the Cardinals are 14th in the league with $51.542 million in cap room. They also currently three selections in the top 70 in the draft, with 40th and 72nd overall to go along with their 8th overall selection. Perhaps, much in the way the Chiefs did with Alex Smith, could the Chiefs get a pick and player for Chris Jones? Maybe they could work out a trade where Jones goes to the desert and Byron Murphy comes to Chiefs Kingdom."

Raising Zona wrote that Chris Jones would be a great fit with Arizona Cardinals.

Mark A. Hernandez wrote: "Just 27 years old, interior defensive lineman Chris Jones has established himself as one of the best in the NFL at his position. He finished the regular season with 58 total pressures, while also becoming a force in stopping the run. His 2019 season was graded at 84.9, according to Pro Football Focus, ranking him 6th best at the position. Jones would be a godsend for a defense that struggled mightily against the run in 2019. Giving up 120.1 yards per game, the Redbirds finished with the 24th ranked run defense in the league. The lack of pressure in the middle also hindered their ability to get off the field on third down. Having a strong interior line will allow the back end to hold up in coverage and fly to the ball. Jones can certainly provide that."

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Cards Wire wrote that Chris Jones would add instant star power to Cardinals.

Jack London wrote: "It’s obvious what Jones would possibly mean to Arizona, but it goes without saying he would be a great fit as a 3-4 DE and would add instant star power to the Cards defensive line."

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