Raiders Tabbed a ‘Top Landing Spot’ for Projected $120 Million Chiefs Star

GM Tom Telesco could make a splash in Raiders free agency by landing Chris Jones.

Getty GM Tom Telesco could make a splash in Raiders free agency by landing Chris Jones.

He now has three Super Bowl championships and six Pro Bowl appearances in his eight-year NFL career, so maybe — just maybe — defensive end Chris Jones has done all he is going to do in Kansas City and it’s time for a new challenge. Heading into the first day of the NFL offseason, that’s the hope of the Raiders or any other franchise aiming to pry Jones away from the Chiefs in his upcoming free agency. According to Bleacher Report, the Raiders are a “top” landing spot for Jones.

But if you’re new GM Tom Telesco, getting Jones’s name on a Raiders contract would be a major early coup.

Jones is rated the top overall free agent on the market this year by Pro Football Focus, CBS Sports and The 33rd Team, a seldom-seen designation for an interior defensive lineman. But such is Jones’ ability to disrupt and control a game, as well as his consistency at age 29. PFF projects him to warrant a contract of four years and $120 million, or $30 million per year, while Spotrac has him coming in at three years and $85.5 million, or $28.4 million annually.

The Chiefs are not only the Raiders’ biggest historical rival, but they’re also the Raiders’ biggest obstacle to short-term success. Adding Jones to an already improving Raiders defense could make the unit elite, and chipping away at the Chiefs’ talent level would expedite the Raiders’ ability to challenge Kansas City’s supremacy in the AFC West.

Signing Would Be ‘A Massive Upgrade’

Here’s how Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay summed up the Raiders’ potential fit with Jones, a pass-rusher in a 310-pound lineman’s body who has 26 sacks in the last two years:

“Jones would be a massive upgrade in the teeth of the Raiders defense. His ability to command constant attention from opposing offensive linemen would free up [Maxx] Crosby — coming off a career-high 14.5-sack campaign — to wreak even more havoc in the backfield.

“Factor in the potential emergence of Tyree Wilson, the promising edge who was Vegas’ first-round draft choice this past season, and this could become one of the NFL’s most formidable fronts as early as 2024.”

Indeed, Kay points out, while edge rusher Malcolm Koonce had an impressive close to the season on the opposite side of Crosby, the current interior of the defensive line between those two is suspect. The Raiders had no defensive linemen that landed a PFF grade above 70, and the best the line had to offer was mistake-prone Jerry Tillery, who had a grade of 68.8 (40th out of 130 D-linemen in the NFL).

Jones has had a grade of 83 or higher and has been among the Top 7 defensive linemen in the league for the last seven seasons.

Chris Jones Was Flirting With Raiders Free Agency

Oh, and there was the bit of flirtation between Jones and Raiders Nation that took place during Super Bowl week, when Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal spoke to Jones about the Raiders.

As Bonsignore wrote on Twitter/X: “Chris Jones (pending FA) to me about the @Raiders facility: ‘The Raiders have the best facility in the league. Very first-class organization. New equipment, new facility. Much respect to the owner and the organization.’ He laughed when I said Raiders fans would love hearing that.”

Perhaps Jones will laugh all the way back to Las Vegas, with a hefty new four-year contract in hand next season.

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