The Las Vegas Raiders are entering a critical offseason. Based on 2019’s performance, they are very close to real playoff contention and another impressive offseason could get them there. One big focus the team should have is addressing the defense as the unit struggled greatly in 2019.
There are a few really strong options in free agency, but Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones should be number one on the list. He’s coming off two straight incredible seasons and he’s only 25-years old. He’s in for a massive payday and the Raiders have the cap space to make it happen. Raiders insider for The Athletic Vic Tafur thinks the team will make a run at him:
“The Raiders will definitely go after Jones hard if the Chiefs don’t give him the money he wants or franchise tag him. That’s a fact, according to me.”
Jon Gruden hasn’t been shy about his defense’s shortcomings and few players could elevate the unit like Jones could. They already have promising edge rushers in Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. Throw Jones in the middle to wreak havoc and teams are going to have a hard time protecting their quarterbacks when playing the Raiders.
How Much Would Jones Cost?
If the Raiders want Jones, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. Now, he’s probably not worth Aaron Donald money, but he’s likely to ask for it. Add to the fact that he’s made it very clear that he wants to be a Chief for life and the Raiders have an uphill battle.
Las Vegas is going to have to outspend the Chiefs if they’re going to get Jones. There’s almost no way he cost less than $18 million a year, but it’s unlikely that he gets to Donald’s $22.5 million a year. He’ll probably end up getting something in between. The Raiders traded Khalil Mack because they didn’t want to pay him the big bucks. It remains to be seen if they’ll change their stance for a player like Jones.
Follow the Heavy Las Vegas Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Worth It to Hurt the Chiefs?
One advantage the Raiders have over the Chiefs is that the latter is probably about to give Patrick Mahomes the biggest contact the NFL has ever seen. That’s really going to hurt their ability to give Jones a big contract. If the Raiders sign Jones, they not only get one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL, they also hurt the Chiefs in the process. The silver and black could be facing a potential dynasty in Kansas City for years to come. If the Raiders want to avoid that, they need to be willing to spend big.
The Raiders have struggled greatly against the Chiefs for years. The only way to stop their offense is to figure out a way to get to Mahomes. Las Vegas has pass-rushing talent on the edge, but the team’s interior is currently more suited for stopping the run. Jones would completely change that dynamic and help greatly bolster the pass rush. It might just be worth shelling out a ridiculous contract just to keep Jones away from the Chiefs.