If the Adoree’ Jackson signing taught us anything, it’s that when Logan Ryan sets his sights on something, he’s going to go to the fullest to make sure it comes to fruition. Hell, as the New York Post highlighted, he even missed tuning into his alma mater Rutgers play in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a 37-year drought, instead opting to fly from Florida to New York to wine-and-dine Jackson at Del Frisco’s.
With that in mind, NFC East quarterbacks may want to brace themselves, because Chandler Jones’ trade request has evidently piqued the interest of the New York Giants stud safety.
Over the weekend, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Chandler, one of the league’s most underrated and gifted pass rushers, is unhappy with his current situation in Arizona and has requested a trade from the Cardinals. Shortly after Fowler broke the news — and likely the hearts of Arizonans — Ryan took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the situation.
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Jones’ Ties to Giants Go Beyond Ryan
Before Ryan was roaming the Giants’ secondary and prior to intercepting Tom Brady’s final pass as a New England Patriot, Ryan spent four seasons as Brady’s teammate in Massachusetts. Of those four seasons, three were spent starring alongside Jones on the Pats defense, including in 2014 when they hoisted the Lombardi trophy after a victory in Super Bowl XLIX.
Of course, Jones’ time in New England also coincided with head coach Joe Judge’s, who was with the Pats from the moment the team selected Jones No. 21 overall in the 2012 draft up until the team traded him to the Cardinals in 2016.
Furthermore, Jones was born and raised on the East Coast. He’s a Rochester native who attended high school at Union-Endicott in Endicott before starring at local Syracuse University from 2009-2011.
Should the Giants Go All-in on Pursuing Jones?
The short answer is yes, although it’s not as clear-cut as it may appear. From a need perspective, pursuing a player of Jones’ expertise is a no-brainer. The team’s returning sack-getters from the edge position last season are Lorenzo Carter and Carter Coughlin, each of whom recorded a mere 1.0 sack. On top of that, the latter appears to be transitioning to a new position this offseason.
Yes, Dave Gettleman did go out and select two intriguing prospects in Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith during April’s draft. Still, Jones is a proven commodity who would give the Giants their most gifted and prolific pass rusher since Jason Pierre-Paul frequented Big Blue’s front-seven in the 2010s.
Over his 124 career regular-season game appearances, the former first-round pick has amassed 169 quarterback hits and 97 sacks — sixth-most amongst active players. From 2015-2019, Jones didn’t go a single season without recording double-digit sacks. During that span, he led the NFL in sacks with 17.0 in 2017 and then proceeded to surpass that number in 2019, collecting a career-best 19.0.
Where things get iffy is Jones’ health and contract demands. The two-time first-team All-Pro selection saw his 2020 campaign cut short after just five games due to a biceps injury. While we’re not overly concerned about such an injury holding Jones back on the field, he still remains a 31-year-old player in search of a contract — likely one exponentially lucrative.
Jones is set to make $15.5 million in the final year of his five-year/$82.5 million contract he signed back in 2017. The good news here is Gettleman has shown he’s not against swinging for the fences to add an expensive piece if he believes the player can help the team in a profound way. The not-so-good news is Jones is an aging player which typically goes against the logical route of GMing when looking to splurge on talent.
With that said, as Giants Wire’s Dan Benton highlighted, if the Giants believe Jones can “put them over-the-top,” we say go for it.
The cost for Jones would be significant and at age 31 that can get tricky, but if the Giants believe he can put them over-the-top, then it’s a no-brainer. They certainly have the trade assets in terms of draft picks and even some potentially expendable players, but the real problem would be the salary. Jones will command big money and the Giants don’t have a ton left to throw around at the moment.