If you ask new Raiders pass rusher Chandler Jones, the Derek Carr-Davante Adams duo isn’t the only one opposing teams should worry about.
Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio Friday, Jones expressed his excitement to play alongside pass rusher Maxx Crosby and it played a part in his decision to play in Las Vegas.
“Credit a lot to my decision the team success, the quarterback, obviously, having familiarity with the front office, and to have the opportunity to rush with the best up-and-coming defensive end in the NFL,” Jones said of Crosby. “I’ve been watching his game, cutting up tape with him before I was his teammate, so now that we’re in the same room, I mean — that’s dangerous.”
Jones signed a three-year, $54.5 million contract to play for Las Vegas. The 32-year-old spent the last six years in Arizona and posted his seventh career double-digit sack season (10.5) in 2021. Crosby is coming off his first Pro Bowl season (eight sacks, 30 QB hits) and was a catalyst to the Raiders’ remarkable wild-card berth last season. The breakout campaign earned Crosby a new four-year, $98.98 million contract extension and it secures an intriguing pass-rushing duo for years to come.
Jones is just one of several new faces in Las Vegas after an offseason overhaul of the coaching staff and front office. New head coach Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and general manager Dave Ziegler, were all in New England when Jones was drafted by the Patriots in 2012, and credit those arrivals for Las Vegas becoming a choice destination for the veteran pass rusher.
“I feel amazing. It’s a dream come true,” Jones said. “I was just sitting here talking with Pat Graham, I spoke with Dave Ziggy (Ziegler) and I talked to Josh McDaniels, and these guys have known me since I came into the league. I mean, these guys have known me since I was a puppy. They’ve known me almost like a decade ago.
“To have the opportunity for everything to come around full circle, for me to be on the same team with these guys, it credited to a lot of my decision. It gives me a lot of trust. I trust this front office like no other and, like I said, It gives you the motivation to go through a wall for people like that.”
The inclusion of Jones allowed the Raiders to add cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to their secondary by trading Crosby’s pass-rushing companion last year, Yannick Ngakoue. The Raiders also added defensive tackle Bilal Nichols this offseason to beef up the defensive line.
Jones’ arrival will provide a player-coach of sorts considering Graham’s defensive scheme will be new to most Raiders defenders. With an AFC West geared up for a competitive 2022 season, the Crosby-Jones combo is poised to be beneficial as the Raiders are set to face three elite quarterbacks twice a year within the division.
“What I try to bring with myself is leadership, and not just leading by demand but leading by example,” Jones said. “Spreading that culture that I know. Telling the guys that the biggest goal is to win, which they do know, but winning — focusing on winning. That’s the best thing you can possibly do in this league is win. As long as the guys get that through and I’m sure they do, but as long as that’s preached to these guys, we’re gonna be good, we’ll be fine.”