The Las Vegas Raiders make their first big move in ’22 free agency, reuniting pass rusher Chandler Jones with some of his old pals in New England.
After two days of staying silent, the Las Vegas Raiders broke their silence in a huge way: Edge rusher Chandler Jones is joining the Silver and Black on a three-year deal worth upwards of $51 million. In a corresponding move, Pro Bowl alternate Yannick Ngakoue was dealt to the Colts, for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
Chandler Jones played for New England in ’12-’15, before being dealt to the Cardinals. The haul for Jones was a second-round pick in addition to offensive guard Jonathan Cooper; One of the few trades in the Bill Belichick era where the Patriots looked back, thinking they probably shouldn’t have done that.
Not only did Jones continue to take massive steps forward in Arizona, but New England failed to replace the star year after year. The edge rusher was a first-team All-Pro twice in his six years playing in the Grand Canyon state, as well as having seasons where he lead the league in various stats. including forced fumbles, tackles for loss, and even sacks.
Bringing in Chandler Jones meant finding a new home for Yannick. According to a report, a trade with Indianapolis involving Ngakoue started days ago, eventually being finalized today. The real final piece to this trade wasn’t the compensation, but rather Las Vegas grabbing their edge rusher of choice, before committing to moving Maxx Crosby’s ’21 counterpart.
The trade brought in cornerback Rock Ya-sin, who was taken just six picks before his now-teammate Trayvon Mullen. The two become the current projected starting outside cornerbacks for Las Vegas, in a move that might ultimately prove Indianapolis has won the battle for Casey Hayward.
However, neither team would end up with Hayward, as he signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
Ya-Sin, 25, is coming off his best season in the NFL, recording career lows in both completion percentage and opposing quarterback rating. Patrick Graham has been very vocal about the Raiders adding four or five good corners, and the former Colt is a piece of that puzzle.
There’s a lot to take in here, so let’s focus on three ways these moves help improve situations down in [Ya-] Sin City.