Las Vegas Raiders Sign Chandler Jones, Trade Yannick Ngakoue

Raiders ER Chandler Jones
Raiders ER Chandler Jones
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - The first splashy Las Vegas Raiders acquisition of 2022 NFL free agency was a very splashy Raiders kind of acquisition: the team is signing former Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots edge rusher Chandler Jones, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. Initial reports claim the deal will be worth $17 million per year.

In a related move, the Raiders will trade edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin in what is being reported as a straight-up player-for-player deal.

Jones, a 32-year-old two-time All-Pro, recorded 10.5 sacks last season: five in the opener against the Tennessee Titans and 5.5 for the remainder of the season. Jones ranked 24th in the NFL with 52 pressures and 43rd in the league with 26 hurries in 2021, per Sports Info Solutions. He missed two games in 2021 due to COVID after missing much of the 2020 season with a biceps injury. The numbers suggest a down year for Jones, though the early-season loss of fellow sack threat J.J. Watt was at least part of the problem.

Ya–Sin, a second-round pick in 2019, played well last season after a rocky start to his career. He fills a gaping need for a Raiders team that drafted cornerbacks by blindfolding Mike Mayock and making him point to power-program media guides in recent years.

The much-traveled Ngakoue, who turns 27 years old at the end of the month, enjoyed a rebound season with the Raiders last year, recording 10 sacks after wearing out his welcome with the Jaguars in 2019 and hopping from the Ravens to the Vikings in 2020. Ngakoue was due an $8-million roster bonus that would have given him a $15-million cap number in 2022.

The Raiders signed Maxx Crosby to a four-year contract extension before the start of free agency. Jones will replace Ngakoue as the bookend pass rusher to Crosby in coordinator Patrick Graham’s 3-4 themed defense. Jones played for the New England Patriots when Graham was their linebacker coach in the mid-2010s. 

Overall Chandler Jones Impact

Crosby and Jones are gonna generate some sacks and keep the Raiders from falling too far behind in the AFC West. But the Raiders just spent a lot of money to get older and more expensive at one of the few position groups where they did not have a glaring, immediate need, and Jones was awfully quiet for most of last season.

Ya-Sin’s arrival balances this cluster of moves considerably, but this move has the earmarks of the Raiders being the Raiders (overpay famous veteran), with a little bit of Josh McDaniels being a Belichick Buddy (give me some old Patriots!) mixed in. And let's not oversell the fact that Jones knows Graham's system: edge rushers are pretty much edge rushers. 

Jones would have made more sense for a true contender seeking a short-term veteran mercenary. A younger edge such as Haason Reddick (signed by the Eagles) could have been a worthy rebuilding block for Graham and McDaniels. This is just a move that takes the Raiders from fourth place in the AFC West to fourth place with a better record and a bigger payroll. 
 

Comments

44 comments, Last at 20 Mar 2022, 7:23am

1 This is the second player…

This is the second player the Colts have picked up from the Raiders in as many days (signed free agent CB Brandon Facyson). Clearly Gus Bradly has talked Chris Ballard into bringing in some of “his guys”. 

11 I think he could be a good…

In reply to by sharky19

I think he could be a good player as part of an overall good defense. He isn't a star at the moment clearly, but has had a good linear trajectory. He's also young which is why I hate giving him up for a pass rusher that was a reclamation project a year ago.

23 Rock was definitely starting…

Rock was definitely starting to show signs of becoming a solid starting corner, and he improved greatly after a shaky sophomore season. I'll be sad to see him go because good corners are hard to find, but I think the Colts desperately need pass rush more than they need a cornerback right now, and I love the Ngakoue pick up. I think he'll be a great personality fit with guys like Leonard and Buckner, and he brings energy and enthusiasm.

I keep thinking there's a possibility that Ya-Sin may have become available if he's not seen as a great fit with the style of defense Bradley wants to play? If that's the case it makes a lot of sense.

2 Denver is no Lock

"This is just a move that takes the Raiders from fourth place in the AFC West to fourth place with a better record and a bigger payroll."

 

I would not be shocked in the slightest if Denver has a 7-10 type season and people look back on them as overhyped. I do not understand the certainty people have in Wilson being a success there.

3 This also assumes the…

In reply to by sharky19

This also assumes the Chargers will stop doing Chargers things.

They couldn't manage a tie in a game where their opponent only needed a tie.

6 Just based on point…

Just based on point differential in 2021, the Raiders are clear favorites to finish last in the AFC West in 2022. Yes, some of that point differential comes from the post-Gruden hangover, but expecting the Raiders to be good in 2022 based on their 2021 record is like expecting the Browns to be good in 2021 based on their 2020 record.

8 Bingo. Browns improved by…

Bingo. Browns improved by over 10% in DVOA and slid from 11-5 to 8-9. Raiders could easily be a better team next year and have a worse record.

The Raiders won 6 games on walk-off scores (5 GW FGs and TD pass to Zay Jones vs BAL) which is not even remotely sustainable. They also benefited from CLE missing 8 starters due to a COVID outbreak and questionable officiating vs DAL and LAC.

12 It's worth counterpointing…

It's worth counterpointing that they were at the center of two massive scandals that cost them their head coach and #1 WR mid-season, and that they received the bad call in return vs. the Bengals.

41 Adams changes all that. Best…

Adams changes all that. Best possible addition to maximize Waller, Renfrow, Jacobs/Drake and Carr. Team needs OL help badly but I assume McD/Z have a plan. NE seems to always have good OL. And Crosby/Jones gives that D a chance against 3 top 7 QB on their AFC rivals. 

7 Not much else to say

In reply to by sharky19

If you think Russ is 0 wins above  Lock/Bridgewater with very little injury history.

Makes no sense but you do you. 

9 I mean, DVOA says…

I mean, DVOA says Bridgewater was better last year (yes, I know Wilson was injured, etc).

If (it's a big if) DVOA was right about DEN's offense and defense last year, adding Wilson actually helps them less than you would think; the defense would still be below average, and the offense improves from "above average" to "very good". Lands them in the 9-11 win range or so, probably 3rd in the division, and a playoff spot is not a certainty.

15 Denver was not good

Denver is absolutely more than a QB away, their skill pieces are overrated and the defense was a product of low ppg, they were not that good

16 Le sigh

And Dak was also 1 spot higher in DYAR than Mahomes too. And the DVOA difference was even larger than that of Russ and Teddy. Yet not a single person would choose Dak. All it tells us is, why yes Denver has talent and that is why they've loooong been rumored for a win now QB. 

The washing of 33 y.o. Wilson has to be one of the silliest prominently held beliefs in football that people are overthinking because of his worst year in which he was still graded as a top 19 QB which can be partially explained away with first injury that caused him to miss actual games. 

Defense is volatile and likely benefits with a better QB putting them ahead/closer more. 

20 Whether or not Wilson or…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Whether or not Wilson or Bridgewater is more likely to be good in 2022 isn't the question at hand, though. It's how much of an improvement Wilson's likely 2022 performance will be on Bridgewater's actual 2021 performance. So which one teams want going forward doesn't tell us much if anything about whether the Broncos will have better results in 2022 than they did in 2021. 

Slightly pedantic note, 2021 also wasn't his worst year by DYAR, DVOA, or ranks in either of them.

Finally, I will also note that I think projecting the Raiders above the Chargers and Broncos is silly, and again I think the Broncos made the right call trading for Wilson.

22 We have to stop this conversation then

We don't need DYAR or DVOA to let us know because it's simply overthinking. Last year was his worst year in grading and what everyone would want does tell us what to expect (no one would expect the Cowboys to be worse or KC better if they swapped QBs). And if you're figuring there won't be a bump for Denver next year...you're just being obtuse with production metrics like op. It's just gotta stop with the narrative hunting. 

Living and dying by DVOA/DYAR got this board thinking Kirk and Russ are similar and Jimmy G is secretly a superstar. Sometimes ya just gotta check out what the rest of the world is saying. 

26 Yeah people totally weren't saying Kirk and Russ were similar

People totally don't bring up Jimmy G being not that bad whatsoever here. 

If you want to continue to be obtuse and think that Russ plays little difference from an outlier year of Teddy because of DVOA...that's on you for butting in with "well akchusually" and hiding under the guise of "but I liked it!" 

It is a tremendous signal that they would give up that much. It absolutely tells us that they will improve upon what Teddy did. It shouldn't be that hard, especially after Stafford Goff.

27 The point is that it doesn't…

The point is that it doesn't matter whether Bridgewater's 2021 season with Denver was an outlier when asking how likely the 2022 Broncos are to improve on their 2021 performance. Are the 2022 Broncos with Wilson better than the 2022 Broncos with Bridgewater? Yes, I think that's very very likely. Will the 2022 Broncos with Wilson be better than the 2021 Broncos with Bridgewater? Again, I think that is likely. Is that difference enough to improve on their 4th place finish from last year? I would also say yes, but definitely with less certainty than the previous questions. None of that means it was a bad trade or that I think Wilson isn't a good QB.

28 And again I'll ask:

What are we talking about then? OP said they'd go 7-10. Which is what they went last year and to expect Russ to be 0 wins above those other two...silly unless you expect a freak injury which isn't in Wilson's history. 

They went 7-10 with mediocre, at best, QBs. They have a solid team. That's the reason he chose them. That's why everyone pointed at them for Rodgers, etc.

Yet there's people here that go "not so fast! Look at these DVOA rankings! So yeah...I'm not saying he's bad im just saying he's overrated...and sucks." I'm just gonna push back at the notion that Kirk is in the same tier and that isn't a great deal for Denver.

I never said you said that specially but you oddly psuedo come to their defense for some reason. I get it's not guaranteed but that goes for anything. If he thinks that he's not going to improve the team in the record department, he needs to be hamerring the under because he's alone on that island. For good reason. 7-9-1 isnt that hard of an accomplishment lol

30 If (it's a big if) DVOA was…

If (it's a big if) DVOA was right about DEN's offense and defense last year, adding Wilson actually helps them less than you would think; the defense would still be below average, and the offense improves from "above average" to "very good". Lands them in the 9-11 win range or so, probably 3rd in the division, and a playoff spot is not a certainty.

This was the original comment. 9-11 wins.

31 THIS is what I responded to

I would not be shocked in the slightest if Denver has a 7-10 type season and people look back on them as overhyped. I do not understand the certainty people have in Wilson being a success there.

He wouldnt be shocked if Russ, a 9x Pro Bowler and SB champ (2x starter), provided 0 Wins Above Lock/Bridgewater, (1x pro bowler between the both of them in the same amount of time and one postseason  start (an L btw))? Oh because he doesn't understand people confident in the...MVP candidate a couple years ago that has been consistently good in the NFL?

Thats screams like another, "he's just a more mobile Kirk/Jimmy G ain't that bad truther." Yikes. Then you responded with a pseudo defense for whatever reason arguing against my confidence in Russ... with your own confidence in him? 

Hopefully he's betting the Broncos under.

33 See

This guy is a Pete Carrol Truther.

Limit the 10 year starter to pound the rock for 4 yards and ask him to bail you out on 3rd. Wow i wonder if that's been done before.

34 ?

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Didn't they almost win 2 Superbowls that way?

35 Under their multi time Pro Bowl QB?

In reply to by sharky19

That was able to beat out a big money guy his rookie? You want to take the ball out of his hands for 4 yards? So he can have the highest CPOE during those postseasons despite the highest aDot? Which he partially only had because they put him in such situations that he had to go for it that way? 

What a weird website to be a pound the rock truther. What a time.

37 QB>WR

In reply to by sharky19

But you're insane anyway wanting to limit passing in a passing league. 

38 Schedule

They can be a better team, which I am sure they will be, and still not see much improvement in w-l record.  They have six games in the toughest division, four games against the next toughest (NFCW) and games against the (likely much healthier) Ravens and Titans.  That leaves four very likely wins—Jags, Texans, Jets, Panthers—and one likely win against the Colts. Does 9-11 wins seem more probable than 7?  To me the answer is yes, but to me 7 is less likely, not impossible.

42 Yep, Wilson’s benefited from…

In reply to by Raiderfan

Yep, Wilson’s benefited from far better defensive play in Sea than Herbert and Carr have played with on their teams. Perhaps Den’s running game and pass protection give him the play action time he covets to throw deep. The loss of Fant, Harris and picks are not insignificant. And Chubb/Gregory might not hold up and compare to Bosa/Mack and Crosby/Jones. If the Chiefs land McCaffrey in a trade, watch out. This division is already nuts. 

10 Raiders-Colts trade

This trade makes no sense. They give up a good pass-rusher to a conference opponent who they will likely be fighting for a wild-card spot with (and who was near the bottom of the league in pressure last season), to add a corner who has not been good and now goes to a worse defense.

13 Yannick has bounced around…

Yannick has bounced around the league for a reason and Sinn has developed nicely over time. I like this trade more for LV and am rather annoyed as a fan for Indy. 

21 It makes sense financially. …

It makes sense financially.  He was going to cost $15 million against the cap, and cutting him would have actively cost them $3 million in cap space.  Trading him was the only way to save room; they didn't want to spend $15 million on their third edge rusher.

43 Trading Yan was not just a…

Trading Yan was not just a salary dump or to acquire a possibly still ascending young CB. He was a bad scheme fit for Graham’s D. Yan is awful against the run. Bradley hides that by always playing Cover 3 with 8 in the box. Graham often plays 2 deep safeties with 7 in the box. Can’t do that with Yan. He’d been a pass rush specialist at $15M. That was untenable. 

18 Just make it the LVR thread

Yannick has been kinda bad since the 2020 postseason but it seems like an overpay for such an old guy in Jones.

IDK what the Colts are doing. They're just spending more money and giving up a more valuable position that played decently last year. They have all this money and yet they sit on their hands and take declining pass rushers for the sake of it. Watching teams with less cap space trade for actual good players like Amari Cooper, Shaq Mason, etc. 

29 Despite the criticisms in…

Despite the criticisms in the article, I think this pair of moves is better than almost everything the Gruden/Mayock regime ever did.