Last offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders made a splashy move that shocked the league. Las Vegas signed Chandler Jones to a three-year, $51 million deal with $32 million guaranteed. Jones was expected to form one of the better pass-rush duos in the league alongside Maxx Crosby. Unfortunately, as was the case with many aspects of this past season, that didn’t go according to plan. Jones picked it up towards the end of the season, but ultimately didn’t live up to his contract.
Chandler Jones’ Struggles
To put it bluntly, Jones had a rough start to the season, as did the rest of his team. Chandler didn’t record a sack until Week 7 against Houston. He also had just seven total pressures through the six weeks before that. Jones had a very rough game in the Raiders’ meltdown against Arizona in week two, while being awarded just a 41.8 overall grade via Pro Football Focus. PFF also gave him an ugly tackling grade for that game, at just 27.2.
Jones turned out to be a non-factor for a large portion of the Raiders’ season. Jones had just five sacks to finish the season, which isn’t necessarily a bad number, but it doesn’t quite live up to what the Raiders were paying him. Chandler turned out to be a non-factor too often.
Chandler Jones’ Positives
Well, it’s hard to start this topic off without mentioning this:
CHANDLER JONES. GAME-WINNER.
ENOUGH SAID. pic.twitter.com/cmKNUuskfs
— NFL (@NFL) January 9, 2023
Jones made one of the biggest plays in the history of the Raiders and the franchise itself. This play was absolutely massive, and at the time, it kept the Raiders in the playoff hunt.
Chandler Jones did put together a couple of solid games this season as well. In the Raiders’ Week 13 win against the Los Angeles Chargers, Chandler finished with two sacks, seven hurries, and one pass breakup. Jones, alongside his teammates on the defensive line, was a large part of this win.
Chandler Jones would put together another multiple-sack performance against the Rams, notching two just four days after the Chargers game. His play as a whole really picked up towards the end of the season. His season was unfortunately cut short with an elbow injury on Christmas Eve against the Steelers. Still, his play was much better in the waning weeks of the season.
What Does His Future Look Like?
Jones is now 32 and will be 33 by the time next season starts. He’ll have two years left on his three-year deal. His first season in silver and black didn’t live up to expectations, but to be fair, almost nobody else on this roster did. Chandler Jones still has a chance to have a very successful Raiders’ career, but it must start now.
*Top Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images