The Las Vegas Raiders have looked like a completely different team since Antonio Pierce took over as interim head coach following the team firing head coach Josh McDaniels. McDaniels and previous GM Dave Ziegler of course, came over from the New England Patriots and brought others along with them. And even though they are now gone, the Raiders are bringing in another former Patriots player.
And that former Patriots player, like others before him, has a link to the Raiders head coach. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Raiders have claimed cornerback Jack Jones, whom Pierce coached both at Long Beach Poly High School and at Arizona State University, off waivers:
The #Raiders have claimed CB Jack Jones off waivers from the #Patriots, according to his agent @jtoosonlaw. Jones is reunited with Antonio Pierce, his coach in high school and Long Beach Poly and in college at Arizona State. pic.twitter.com/Tk0BaIkbdD
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 14, 2023
The move gives the Raiders another body in the secondary as they are dealing with some injuries. Amik Robertson suffered a concussion against the Jets and his status for Sunday’s game against Miami is unclear. Additionally, rookie Jakorian Bennett has been dealing with a shoulder injury.
The news of the Patriots releasing Jones, who was a fourth-round pick just a year ago, came as a bit of a surprise around the league. Jones had a promising rookie season in New England and came into this year as a starter for the Patriots, but a hamstring injury forced him to injured reserved, and he was playing a backup role since returning to the field.
There have been some off-field issues with Jones as he reportedly missed curfew prior to the Patriots’ game against the Washington Commanders. His snap count diminished to just 30 in that contest and went down even further to just 10 in New England’s most recent game against the Indianapolis Colts. He was also arrested in June when a bag with his name on it was found to have two guns and ammunition inside. That case has since been settled.
Nonetheless, the Raiders clearly believe in the talent Jones possesses, and very few know him as well as Pierce. Last season Jones appeared in 13 games as a rookie, totaling 30 tackles, two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Perhaps a change of scenery is exactly what Jones needs to get back to reach the potential he has shown.