Just hours after releasing Carl Nassib, the Las Vegas Raiders upgraded in a big way at the edge, signing veteran free-agent defensive end Chandler Jones, as first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old spent the past six seasons with the Arizona Cardinals where he became one of the best and most consistent pass rushers of the last decade.
From his last year with the New England Patriots in 2015 to last season, Jones posted 17-game averages of 14 sacks per season along with 26 quarterback hits and five forced fumbles.
In a five-year stretch from 2015-2019, Jones recorded double-digit sacks in each season, including a league-leading 17 in just his second season in Arizona in 2017 and 19 in 2019.
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A biceps injury in Week 5 of the 2020 campaign sidelined him for the remainder of the season, but he bounced back well last year with 10.5 sacks in 15 games — his final showing before hitting free agency.
Now in Las Vegas, Jones looked as though he joined an imposing group of pass rushers headlined by Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue, who combined for 18.0 sacks on the season. The problem is the rest of the defense combined for just 17.0 sacks — and Ngakoue was dealt to the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday evening for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
A pass rush is a must for defenses in a loaded AFC West that suddenly boasts one of the more impressive crop of quarterbacks in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert now being joined by Russell Wilson, who was acquired by the Denver Broncos last week.
The Chargers have also done well to address their dangerous pass rush, too, adding on Khalil Mack opposite of Joey Bosa.