Four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Chandler Jones will be calling Sin City home in 2022. One of the top defenders on the NFL free-agent market has reportedly agreed to a multi-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is said to be worth roughly $51 million over three seasons. It’s an absolutely huge first move from new Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler as he attempts to find first-year head coach Josh McDaniels more talent on a roster that earned a surprise playoff appearance last season.
Impact of Chandler Jones heading to the Las Vegas Raiders
This comes on the heels of Las Vegas signing Pro Bowl edge rusher Maxx Crosby to a massive contract extension earlier in the offseason. It creates one of the best pass rush tandems in the entire NFL.
- Chandler Jones stats (2021): 41 tackles, 26 QB hits, 12 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks
Jones, 32, actually leads the NFL in sacks with 84 since the start of the 2015 season.
Acquiring Jones to team up with Crosby is an absolute win for Vegas. A homegrown talent, Crosby is coming off a three-year span to start his career that has seen the Eastern Michigan product record 57 quarterback hits and 25 sacks.
In a separate trade, the Raiders also moved fellow edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Indianapolis Colts for a package including solid young cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
Revampted Raiders pass rush with Chandler Jones
Earlier on Wednesday, Vegas moved off backup edge rusher Carl Nassib, saving roughly $8 million against the cap. Trading Ngakoue for a defensive back proves that the new brass is all in with Jones and Crosby doing the heavy lifting from the edge position.
We will have to see how Chandler Jones’ contract breaks down. For now, it comes in at $17 million annually. There’s a good chance that Ziegler and Co., will backload said contract in order to push cap hits back further years — taking into account what is expected to be an increased NFL salary cap in 2023 and 2024. In short, we’d be surprised if Jones’ cap hit for 2022 is more than $10 million.
Including the Nassib release, Las Vegas has been navigating through its finances leading up to the start of the new league year. With Ya-Sin on board and Jones’ cap hit not yet known, the Raiders currently have $31.77 million to spend against the cap. It could lead to the team targeting a depth option out on the edge.