The Buffalo Bills may never be in this position again.
Blessed with an elite quarterback on his rookie deal, general manager Brandon Beane has an obligation to load up for 2021 season.
Acquiring star pass-rusher Chandler Jones would be quite a statement move.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Jones requested a trade from the Arizona Cardinals, because he’s unhappy with his contract. The veteran is entering the final season of his five-year, $81 million deal.
There are multiple roadblocks to a potential Jones trade, beginning with the fact that the Cardinals reportedly don’t want to trade him. However, Jones could force their hand as the season approaches.
Even though the Bills spent their first two draft picks on pass-rushers — Greg Rousseau and Carlos "Boogie" Basham — there’s still room for them to bolster their front-seven. Jones, 31, remains an elite pass-rusher, as he’s recored 61 sacks in five years with the Cardinals.
The Bills may be able to obtain Jones at a discount, though numerous teams would likely be interested if he were made available. Any club that acquires Jones would also have to extend him.
That would allow the Bills to make it work with their salary cap situation, since they only have $10.5 million in cap room, according to Over the Cap. Jones’ base salary for the 2021 season is $15.5 million.
So, who says no to this deal?
Bills acquire: Chandler Jones
Cardinals acquire: Bills’ 2022 second round pick, Mario Addison
Arizona can’t expect to receive a first round pick for Jones, due to his contractual situation (he's also coming off a season-ending biceps injury). A second round pick is more than fair value, especially when coupled with Addison. In addition to creating some cap space, Addison would give the Cardinals a lower cost replacement for Jones.
The Bills, meanwhile, could add Jones to their defensive core — lining him up in front of playmakers such as cornerback Tre’Davious White and linebacker Tremaine Edwards. A three-year extension for Jones seems fair, providing him with ample time to help tutor Rousseau and Basham, as well.