On Tuesday, the New England Patriots traded standout defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals.
This move should come as no surprise.
New England coach Bill Belichick hates distractions, and Jones caused a major one six days before New England’s playoff game against Kansas City last season. Jones was hospitalized after showing up disoriented at the Norwood Police Department experiencing a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana (which isn’t illegal in Massachusetts).
Belichick was so mad at Jones for this major distraction, he actually deactivated him for the AFC Championship Game against Denver, which New England lost. And now he has shipped Jones out of town, in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick.
From a football standpoint, this hurts the Patriots. Jones was their best pass rusher last season, finishing with 12.5 sacks. But Belichick never forgave Jones for the media circus he created after his bizarre episode in Norwood, so he’s now an ex-Patriot.
So what is synthetic marijuana?
According to drugabuse.gov, it’s “man-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked (herbal incense) or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices (liquid incense).
“These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are related to chemicals found in the marijuana plant. Because of this similarity, synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes misleadingly called ‘synthetic marijuana’ (or ‘fake weed’), and they are often marketed as ‘safe,’ legal alternatives to that drug. In fact, they may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, severe or even life-threatening.”
And in the case of Chandler Jones, it turned out to be career-threatening.