One of the more unfortunate stories of the early part of the season for the Las Vegas Raiders was the saga that went on with former pass rusher Chandler Jones. The team has been able to put all of that behind them, but there was real concern for the overall mental health of Jones.
Of course, everything came to an end when the Raiders released the veteran, which did set the team back as he was expected to be a big part of the team’s defense. After a disappointing first season with the Raiders, there was hope that Jones would bounce back, but that never came to fruition. But perhaps, had the Raiders’ brass listened to a tip they received, they never would have signed Jones in the first place.
On the latest edition of the Las Vegas Raiders Insider Podcast, Hondo S. Carpenter of Sports Illustrated revealed that he had gotten a call from a teammate of Jones with the Cardinals warning him about some off-field concerns. He would relay that information to Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels, but the pair agreed to bring him in regardless, via RaidersBeat.com:
“I got a phone call from a teammate of [Chandler Jones] with the Arizona Cardinals who shared with me some very concerning things about Chandler. Some off-field concerns, and forget those, what about the fact [that] last year he had a lot of sacks, but most of them came in one game. He was a defensive lineman over 30 and you don’t pay that kind of money to them… but nope, he was a Patriot.
I remember going to, and it doesn’t matter who, but of the men in the article (either Josh McDaniels or Dave Ziegler) and saying to them ‘Man, one of his teammates contacted me. Are you sure that you’re really considering bringing him in here?’ and it was a decision that both men agreed on. It was a bad decision… and it ended up costing Mark Davis a ton of money and it ended up hurting this franchise.”
Obviously, the information Carpenter received should have been heeded more by Ziegler and McDaniels, but the pair also had their own relationship with Jones from their time with the New England Patriots and they felt they were making the right call.
It did cost the Raiders unfortunately, but now the team is simply focused on who they have, and whoever takes over the front office on a permanent basis will need to be sure to not make the same mistakes as the franchise continues to try and return to glory.