“F*** It, I Don’t Wanna Play For The Raiders” — Chandler Jones Sounds Off

“F*** It, I Don’t Wanna Play For The Raiders” — Chandler Jones Sounds Off

The Las Vegas Raiders seemingly turned a corner during the preseason, as the new-look roster posted two dominant victories to open the slate. However, as is customary with Raider Nation, the good times couldn’t last. Disgruntled veteran Chandler Jones has missed the offseason program — and on Tuesday, he made sure to let everyone know why.

In a shocking turn of events, Jones went to Instagram and aired all the dirty laundry. Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were the target of the outburst, with the star pass rusher putting them on blast via his Instagram story.

The most notable quote came when the 33-year-old outright said he does not want to play for the Raiders if McDaniels and Ziegler continue in leadership positions. He went even further, saying that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham should be the man in charge of the locker room instead.

“F*** it. I don’t wanna play for the Raiders if that’s my HC or GM… I want Patrick Graham.”

Judging from this quote, it seems like Graham was more of a focal point in bringing Jones to Vegas, so hearing him stick up for his DC isn’t shocking on the surface. But to trash the current head coach while doing it is a bold move — to be sure.

Even so, perhaps Jones is justified in feeling this way. We don’t actually know what he’s dealing with behind the scenes. But if you believe the 11-year veteran, the Raiders brass hasn’t exactly been willing to work with him this offseason.

In another post via his personal Instagram, Jones kept pulling back the curtains. According to the former first-rounder, the front office won’t allow him to work out at the facility.

Many speculated Jones had suffered an injury, with the team deciding to work him back into the fold slowly. However, here at the Raider Ramble, we pondered if it was something deeper than that. Based on today’s findings, no one could have guessed just how bad things are.

But wait… there’s more!

Not allowing Jones in the facility to work out is one thing. Completely ghosting him by not returning phone calls or text messages is something else entirely. Again, it is impossible to know exactly what led to this dissension, but it is hard to believe that McDaniels and Ziegler cannot pick up the phone and talk it out like adults.

Jones posted some more messages that called into question his future with the franchise. “How do you expect me to play this season, and I can’t get my GM on the phone? Should I call Josh, or will he not pick up either? Why y’all bring me to Vegas? To play with me?”

A screenshot of those texts was then sent to McDaniels directly by Jones. In the message, he explains how disrespectful the organization has been to a guy with a decade-long NFL pedigree.

“It’s a shame that I am a top athlete with 112 sacks in the NFL, and I have to go to a local gym to work out during the season for no apparent reason. This is wild to me, Josh. And you know it. You need to do what’s right,” Jones said.

Sheesh. That is a lot to unpack. First, let’s look at it from the Raiders’ point of view. Last Spring, the team opted to sign Chandler Jones to a three-year, $51 million deal, hoping to form a lethal pass-rushing tandem with Maxx Crosby. Alas, Jones saw the worst production of his career and often looked a step slower than his former self.

The Raiders drafted Chandler Jones’ eventual replacement

The front office drafted Tyree Wilson inside the top 10 this Spring, immediately causing a stir amongst the fanbase. Why would the Silver and Black add another pass rusher? Did it mean that Jones was now dispensable?

As it turns out, that answer is yes. Well, if you believe everything Jones is saying. Looking at it from his angle, he is justified to feel slighted. If McDaniels and Ziegler really are giving the cold shoulder, this is unprofessional. There’s no two ways about it.

Is a trade imminent? Could the franchise cut its losses at this point and release Jones, hoping to salvage the newfound synergy in the locker room? Ideally, this situation will resolve itself by the time the Raiders kickoff on Sunday afternoon. But is it feasible?

Releasing Jones would cause Vegas to eat over $12 million in dead cap space. Granted, there’s not much use for cap space during the season, so if things are irreparable, that move might be worth it to keep the vibes high for the Raiders.

A trade is the best-case scenario for the front office, but finding a trade partner for an aging pass rusher coming off his worst season? That is not exactly an easy feat. And it’s unlikely this Instagram tirade will help things, even though he quickly deleted his posts.

Chandler Jones, Josh McDaniels, and Dave Ziegler all come out of this situation looking worse

Josh McDaniels was in over his head during his first head coaching stint in Denver from 2009-2010. Even with a shaky Year 1 in Vegas, the long-time Bill Belichick protégé seemed more comfortable in the leadership role. But if you believe Jones, maybe McDaniels just got better at hiding his incompetence as a leader.

I’ll leave it up for you to decide, Raider Nation. What do you make of this latest controversy surrounding the organization? Is Chandler Jones being unnecessarily messy, or are McDaniels and Ziegler reaping what they sow?

Either way, this is the last thing the team wanted to focus on with the regular season starting in a few days. Another year for the Raiders, another year starting behind the 8-ball.

*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images

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