On Thursday, the Raiders announced the release of RB Taiwan Jones. Initially reported by Adam Schefter via Twitter, the six-year veteran now becomes a free agent.
RB Taiwan Jones getting released from Raiders, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 27, 2017
Jones, drafted in the 4th round (125th overall) by Oakland out of Eastern Washington in 2011, has spent his entire career in the Silver and Black. However, finding playing time developed into an increasing struggle as years passed.
Initially starting as a running back, Jones’ career high for carries in a game is seven (39 yards), achieved in his rookie season. That year, he made the most success as a kick returner, averaging 20.6 yards on eight returns.
The success continued after a switch to becoming primarily a kick returner in 2013. In two seasons (missing 2014), Jones averaged more than 24 yards per kick return and scored his lone career touchdown on a return against the Jets in 2015. As quickly as it came, the success faded in 2016, returning only eight kicks for a total of 112 yards.
The move is rather expected after the signings of Marshawn Lynch and Cordarrelle Patterson to cover both aspects of Jones’ previous work. Switching back to running back isn’t likely, as Lynch currently heads a crowded six-man backfield going into preseason.