Time and time again, the New England Patriots have shown the ability to recover nicely after releasing star players by drafting quality replacements or signing serviceable veterans. Less than 24 hours after trading arguably their best defensive player Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick, the Patriots sign free agent defensive end Chris Long.

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Long, who has previously been touted as one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL, was cut by the St. Louis Rams (now Los Angeles Rams) last month after he had one of his worst seasons in 2015. His lack of production might be attributed to nagging injuries but the franchise was no longer willing to make the commitment and released him. After being waived, Long shared a photo on Instagram taking full responsibility for his poor play.

Bottom line is this is a production business. No excuses, the last two years have been s—. It’s been painful to experience because I care deeply about my performance and responsibility to my teammates.

His addition to Patriots fills the void left behind by Jones, while the team also bolstered their offensive line by acquiring Cooper from Arizona. The franchise now has a full season to see whether or not it is worth keeping Long on their roster long term. Well played move by the Patriots.