Chandler Jones took social media by storm earlier this week by sounding off on the current Raiders’ regime, spearheaded by Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. The veteran pass rusher went on a tirade via his personal Instagram account, airing out the dirty laundry between himself and the franchise.
Jones shared private text messages and put McDaniels on blast to his nearly one million Instagram followers. Although he quickly deleted the posts from Tuesday, everything said can be found here. Caution: Some of the language is NSFW.
Chandler Jones vs. The Raiders; Buckle Up
On Wednesday, the Raiders held an already-scheduled press conference where McDaniels got asked about the entire Jones fiasco. “I’m not going to talk about that,” the Vegas head coach replied. “That’s kind of a personal situation. We’ve never really gone into those things, so I’m going to steer away from that. That’s a private matter.”
McDaniels finished off the thought by saying, “If there’s something to report on it, then, you know, we’ll do that. But as of right now, no. There’s nothing to talk about. He’s not gonna be here today, so we’ll [kind of] take it a day at a time.”
To his credit, the locker room surely appreciated McDaniels’ restraint on the topic. Sure, a person shouldn’t be lauded for exhibiting compassion toward another. However, in a team setting, and given the uncertainty around what Jones is actually going through, the decision to be hush-hush was appropriate.
Unfortunately, this was merely the tip of the iceberg, as the former NFL sack leader had more to get off his chest late Wednesday evening. Or, to put it more aptly, he had more things to get off his cell phone.
Jones Continues Airing Josh McDaniels’ Dirty Laundry
The following is (allegedly) a text exchange between McDaniels and Jones from Aug. 18 that the latter posted to his Instagram story.
Jones sent a respectful message, seemingly apologizing for how he came off in a conversation that came before this dialogue. After saying sorry, the long-time veteran defender capped it off with an, “It’s always love, brother.”
What happened between then and now is anyone’s best guess — but it is safe to say there is no love between the two at the present moment. Jones posted a screenshot of McDaniels’ reply to his story while adding in a warning to the entire Silver and Black franchise.
“I’m [gonna] be nice Josh. I wanted to play Sunday. If you let me play, I won’t share anything else,” Jones said via Instagram. But that’s not all.
According to Jones, this warning had less to do with McDaniels’ reply and more to do with the organization sending people to his house. In yet another Instagram post, the former first-rounder shared a picture of someone he alleges was sent to his house by McDaniels and Co.
To classify this as a bizarre situation would be doing it a disservice. Jones even threatened to bring TMZ into the mix, claiming he has pictures and text messages even more damning than the ones he already posted.
The likelihood of Jones ever donning a Raiders jersey again diminishes each time he unlocks his phone. That is not me saying his actions are unjustifiable. I am not inside his head. Nor am I privy to how the front office has treated him since his arrival.
No One Wins When Everyone Loses
But it is fair to say that this outburst has done more harm than good. And not just for Jones but for all parties involved. It makes a trade nearly impossible to pull off, casts a cloud over the entire locker room until the situation resolves itself, and alienates him from the passionate fan base.
There has been some reckless speculation on social media. I won’t engage in any of those rumors except to remind anyone reading this: These players are human beings at the end of the day. Jones is more than just a cap hit or a disappointing investment.
That being said, he undoubtedly could have handled this situation in a better way. The idea of finding a middle ground seems less likely by the hour. McDaniels already faced an uphill climb to prove his growth since his disastrous head-coaching stint with the Denver Broncos. It will only be tougher after Jones called his leadership and manhood into question.
Sometimes, no one wins in a disagreement. This presents one of those times. Chandler Jones, Josh McDaniels, and the entire Raiders organization are worse for it — especially with everything playing out in the public eye.
*Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press