Raiders signing former Cardinals star Chandler Jones; reportedly traded Yannick Ngakoue for the Colts

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Sean Logan/The Republic via Imagna Content Services, LLC

Chandler Jones said before the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period that he was “excited” to test free agency. Hours before the official open market began, the former Cardinals All-Pro found a new home, agreeing to the terms of a big contract with the Raiders, as first reported by NFL Media and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirmed. It’s a three-year deal worth around $51 million, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. In a later move, Las Vegas is expected to trade fellow pass thrower Yannick Ngakoue to the Colts, per Report.

Jones, 32, was widely regarded as one of the best remaining free agents after the first two days of legal tampering. He is expected to average $17 million a year from his contract with the Raiders, who just signed starting defensive end Maxx Crosby to a four-year, $95 million extension. A four-time Pro Bowler who eclipsed double-digit sacks in seven different seasons, Jones was expected to leave the Cardinals this offseason after spending six years as Arizona’s point defenseman.

In Vegas, Jones will reunite with new coach Josh McDaniels, who served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator during the Pass rusher’s four-year run with New England from 2012-15.

Ngakoue, meanwhile, becomes a victim of Jones’ arrival just a year after signing a two-year, $26 million contract in free agency. The former Pro Bowler had 10 sacks and started all 17 games in his Raiders debut, but was owed $15 million in 2022, instantly saving Las Vegas at least $7 million by moving. Joining the Colts, who were expected to be looking for pass rushing help, the 26-year-old Ngakoue will move to his fifth team in four years. A franchise tag dispute led to his being traded from the Jaguars to the Vikings before the 2020 season, only for Minnesota to ship him to the Ravens two months later.

By replacing Ngakoue with Jones, SportsLine’s Stephen Oh projects the Raiders will improve, “but not enough to significantly catch up on the massive moves made by the Chargers and Broncos” in the same division. The addition of Jones raises the SportsLine predicted 2022 win total for the Raiders from 8.0 to 8.2, while boosting their playoff chances by 3.4%.

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