(Image via firstsportz.com)
Volunteer Writer: Aidan Danforth
Jones was arrested on September 28th and is currently accused of stealing things from his ex-girlfriend’s house.
The Raiders likely released him due to this and several other issues Chandler Jones was causing off the field.
Apart from the legal part of this, what does this mean for Chandler Jones as a player? Is this the end of his time in the NFL, or can he find a way to bounce back?
Chandler Jones Offseason
Chandler Jones reported to training camp the whole offseason but stopped showing up after August 31st.
The issues started afterward when Chandler Jones, on social media, publicly targeted several people on his team, specifically head coach Josh McDaniels and team owner Mark Davis. He then criticized other former teammates through Instagram videos and tweets on X.
One of the most notable things Jones did was shoot a video on Instagram Live explaining how Josh McDaniels was involved in the death of Aaron Hernandez.
In the video, Jones was crying about his former teammate. He claimed that Hernandez was killed in an industrial park and former Patriots OC Josh McDaniels was involved.
Chandler Jones did not play in the first three games of the NFL season, never came to any practices at random, and didn’t mention it to the team.
With all the accusations and randomly not showing up to team practices anymore, the Raiders concluded that Jones was dealing with serious mental issues and released him in hopes that he would get the help he needed to get back on track.
The Career of Chandler Jones
Chandler Jones has played eleven years in the NFL.
His career began in 2012 when the Patriots drafted him in the first round. He spent four years with the Patriots, joined the Cardinals from 2016 to 2021, and signed with the Raiders in 2022.
Jones signed a three-year, 52 million dollar contract that offseason and played through one year of that contract before getting released.
In his 11-year career, Jones recorded 511 tackles, 112 sacks, and 34 forced fumbles and was nominated to the 2010 HOF team.
By the looks of it, Chandler Jones has a potential Hall of Fame resume on his hands, but is there a chance he can continue and add to it?
During Jones’s first season with the Raiders, he recorded 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.
Those numbers aren’t great compared to those he had back in Arizona, so last year was a big year of regression for the veteran Linebacker.
That could be a big issue for him since NFL teams typically sign younger players who still have time to grow as opposed to older players who are nearing the end of their prime and even their careers, but there’s one more factor in play that could determine what happens next with Chandler Jones.
The NFL and Mental Health
An essential part of an NFL team is ensuring that the players aren’t just doing well physically but also mentally.
Teams typically like to have players who bring a positive moral to the locker room. Any players that cause problems in that locker room can be cut or asked to stay away from the team.
An example of this is former wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown was a solid player, but during the 2019 season, when he was with the Patriots, the team was forced to release him because he was a locker-room distraction.
He then spent two years with the Buccaneers but was released in January of 2022 after his random outburst during Tampa Bay’s game against the Jets.
Brown has not been seen with any team since due to his behavior. NFL teams have a goal to win and build a great environment, and any player causing unnecessary drama can hurt that, so how does this relate to Chandler Jones?
Based on Chandler Jones’s current situation, he should seek help to turn his life and career around, but is that enough for a team to give Jones a second chance?
The NFL is a constantly evolving competitive landscape, with emerging young players and free agents available every offseason.
Players have to make the best of their careers, and one lousy screw-up could mean the end of a player’s career.
Chandler Jones called out his coach and owner and accused them of doing things that may cause many NFL teams to look at Jones and be afraid that he may do the same to them even if he gets better if he receives help.
The same thing happened with Quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
He caused drama among the 49ers when he refused to stand for the national anthem. The 49ers released him due to this drama. Now he’s trying to make a comeback to the NFL, but no team will give him a chance.
The same could apply in the future for Chandler Jones because NFL teams dislike the drama surrounding their team.
They may look at him and see a good player with much uncertainty behind him due to their past, so a team may not want them.
This has also worked the other way around with some players, such as Michael Vick, after he served time in jail, so not all hope is lost for all NFL players who do questionable things off the field or deal with mental challenges.
Before Chandler Jones can even come back into the NFL, he needs to get some help to deal with his apparent mental health problems.
He must also prove why he is still a valuable player and how his experience could impact an NFL team needing a veteran Linebacker.
So, with all that in mind, will Chandler Jones be able to recover and make a comeback to the NFL, or is this it for the 11-year linebacker and the year he played his final snaps in the NFL?