Once left for dead by the NFL, Dion Jordan made his return this season with the Oakland Raiders, and should be back with the team again in 2020.
It was no big secret that the Oakland Raiders needed to do something to improve their pass rush in 2019, this after an embarrassing 2018 season that saw them notch only 13 quarterback sacks as a team. During the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders added two talented pieces in Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, who showed in Year 1 that they have the talent to be monsters coming off the edge moving forward.
In addition to the two rookies, the Raiders rolled the dice on a few veterans, including Josh Mauro and Benson Mayowa. In November, they brought in former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan, who had been in and out of the league due to suspensions since the Seattle Seahawks took him back in 2013.
Now 29-years old, Jordan had to finish out his ten-game suspension before hitting the field in the Silver and Black, and he made his 2019 debut in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Jordan notched a sack in that game, and would finish the year with two sacks total.
The deal for Jordan was a very low-risk/high reward deal, as the Raiders only paid him $331,471 according to Spotrac. As an unrestricted free agent entering this offseason, the Raiders would be wise to roll the dice on him once more, as he is in the best shape of his life, and is as hungry as ever.
Ferrell and Crosby were special as rookies, and the Raiders also have to decide whether or not they are going to bring back Mauro and Mayowa as well. Defensive line coach Brentson Buckner did an unbelievable job with this unit this past season, and they should only improve in year 2 under him in 2020.
Jordan was once considered a can’t-miss player coming out of Oregon, and he has little wear on his tires as he enters his year-30 season. The Raiders will be looking to make a statement in their first season in Las Vegas, and Jordan could once again be a guy they could bring in on a team-friendly contract, as he continues to reestablish himself at the NFL level.
It may have taken a while for Jordan to get back to the NFL, but he has found a home with the Raiders, and is entering the prime of his career. The Raiders took major steps forward at defensive end this season, and with Jordan back in the fold in 2020, look for them to continue to improve in rushing the passer in their first season in Las Vegas.