Over the first couple of years of his career, Maxx Crosby showed some good flashes of being a solid NFL player. His rookie season with the Las Vegas Raiders was impressive as he notched 10.0 sacks. His production fell a bit in Year 2 as he dropped to 7.0 sacks. In Year 3, he hit another level.
Despite only finishing with eight sacks, Crosby led the NFL with 100 quarterback pressure, per Pro Football Focus. He was also named to the Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro. He quickly went from pretty good defensive end to full-fledged star in 2021. The Raiders rewarded him handsomely with a $94 million contract and gave him an elite running mate in Chandler Jones.
The former Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wasn’t thought to be an option for the Raiders heading into the offseason but signed a three-year deal with the team. Jones has long been one of the most dominant pass rushers in the NFL and now he’s joining what he believes is the premier defensive player in the league.
“I think Maxx Crosby is the best defensive player in the NFL,” Jones said after signing with the Raiders. “And I’m saying this proudly. I said this before I was a Raider and now I’m saying this as his teammate.”
Crosby had a chance to respond to the bold comments from Jones.
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Jones Thrilled to Play With Crosby
Jones hasn’t had the chance to play against Crosby in a regular-season or playoff game yet but that doesn’t mean they weren’t familiar with each other. Jones couldn’t hold back his excitement about joining the Raiders defensive end.
“Maxx Crosby, I mean, everyone’s speaking about Maxx Crosby. I’m speaking about Maxx Crosby. I’m a huge fan of him,” Jones said at his introductory press conference. “Just to have the opportunity to rush on the opposite side of him is huge for me. The front office. I’m very familiar with the front office. I trust them like no other. I’ve known them since I came into the NFL. Dave Ziegler, Josh McDaniels, Pat Graham. … This is a great opportunity for me. I’m happy to be a Raider. I can’t wait to get on the field.”
While Jones and Crosby appear to have a fruitful relationship off the field, the two will form one of the best defensive duos in the NFL.
Jones Talks Friendship With Crosby
Even before Jones decided to move to Las Vegas, he had started building a relationship with Crosby. The two started sending each other film clips and giving tips. What drew Jones to Crosby is how much he loves football.
“When you walk into someone that loves football as much as you do,” Jones said, “you could sit there and talk for days, hours, and Maxx is one of those guys.”
Crosby lost a close friend on the team when the Raiders traded away Yannick Ngakoue but he’s still excited. He already wants to get to work with Jones.
“Chandler is one of the best to ever do it,” Crosby told ESPN. “He’s a great person on top of it and I can’t wait to get to work.”
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