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Initial thoughts on Chandler Jones situation

Lots to unpack in this weird saga

NFL: Houston Texans at Las Vegas Raiders
Chandler Jones
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Raiders starting defensive end Chandler Jones is away from the team for a second straight day after an Instagram outburst Tuesday that targeted head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.

McDaniels said Wednesday that the team is taking the situation ‘one day at a time.” Here are some early thoughts on what’s going on:

Terrible timing:

Things were going so well for the Raiders going into Sunday’s season opener at the Denver Broncos until the Jones’ situation arose. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy as is first-round draft pick, defensive end Tyree Wilson and Josh Jacobs’ contract situation has been resolved. There were a lot of good vibes surrounding this team. Then this happened. It brings back uncomfortable memories of Antonio Brown’s departure from the team four years ago. We don’t know where this saga is heading but for this to happen four days before the season is an unneeded distraction.

What’s the end game?

At the moment, we must just go with what McDaniels is saying and see what happens tomorrow. But it’s fair for us to wonder what is going to happen. Is Jones going to miss Sunday’s game? Is he going to be a former Raider soon? Is he going to be suspended? It will not be easy for the Raiders, who gave Jones a three-year, $51 million contract with $32 million in guaranteed money last year, to get out of this deal. So, it’s a sticky, complicated situation.

Not a great look for this regime:
We have no idea what Jones is going through here, so it would not be wise to blame the regime for what’s happening. But it’s on their watch and they made a big splash by bringing in Jones, who they knew from their mutual New England days. Plus, Jones struggled on the field most of last season. If this goes south, it will go down as a big miss by McDaniels and Ziegler.

Tyree time?

Jones is one of four pass-rushers currently on the roster. If Jones doesn’t play Sunday that may mean more snaps for Wilson. McDaniels was vague about what the plan is for the rookie. He only played briefly in one preseason game. McDaniels made it clear Wilson would likely have a limited amount of snaps Sunday regardless if Jones plays. I’d expect Malcolm Koonce to play a lot along, of course, with star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby if Jones doesn’t play Sunday. Janarius Robinson and Isaac Rochell could be promoted from the practice squad as well.