Patriots sign first-round DE Chandler Jones to four-year deal

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
The Patriots signed Jones on Wednesday, they announced. (Getty Images)

During the 2012 NFL Draft, the Patriots did something very rare and traded up to grab a player, selecting Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones with the 21st overall pick.

On Wednesday, the team announced that they signed Jones to a four-year deal.

Jones, a 6-5, 265-pound defensive end, is riddled with upside and will likely start for the Patriots out of the gates. He totaled 10 sacks at Syracuse but landed All-Big East honors as a junior in 2011 when he picked up 4.5 of those sacks (and 38 total tackles) in just seven games.

Because of Jones' athleticism, he can play both outside linebacker and end when the Patriots shift defensive schemes, and New England is hoping that the former Orangeman can provide some pass rush.

Though New England finished with 40 sacks last season, they lost Mark Anderson (10 sacks) to the Bills and Andre Carter (10 sacks) is currently a free agent.

The Patriots have needed a legit outside pass-rusher for some time, and if Jones turns into that weapon for Bill Belichick's defense, the Patriots will be an even more dangerous team than they were last year.

The only draft picks remaining to be signed for New England are first-round pick Dont'a Hightower and third-round pick Jake Bequette.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.
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