Chandler Jones had a long dominant career from 2012 until this season where a bizarre series of incidents led to the Las Vegas Raiders releasing the two-time All-Pro at the end of September without playing a snap of the team this season.
The Raiders made a big-time free-agent move during the 2022 NFL offseason when they brought Jones in to play across from star pass rusher Maxx Crosby.
Jones, an 11-year veteran at the time, was expected to give the Raiders a top-tier edge rush. That didn’t quite happen, as Jones had just 4.5 sacks during his first season, but it was expected that he might do better during his second campaign in Las Vegas.
Jones was placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list by the Raiders ahead of their Week 3 matchup against the Steelers.
Jones hadn’t been practicing with the Raiders in the lead-up to the season and didn’t play in either of the team’s first two games. Coach Josh McDaniels was asked about the status of Jones — who had expressed discontent with McDaniels and the Raiders in an Instagram rant — and he didn’t provide much clarity about it ahead of Week 1.
Chandler Jones Bizarre Events With Raiders Explained
The drama surrounding Jones began on Sept. 5 when he posted a series of messages to social media that were critical of the Raiders organization and coaching staff.
Jones took shots at McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler while offering his praise of defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
“F— it. I don’t wanna play for the Raiders if that’s my HC, or GM,” Jones wrote. “I want Patrick Graham Ivy League n—.”
Jones went on to post that the Raiders “wouldn’t let him in the building” and that he felt the team was trying to “provoke” him. He also posted a photo of a letter he wrote that stated he wanted to talk to Antonio Brown and Aldon Smith, who he believes may have been “provoked” into leaving the Raiders.
Jones also posted a screenshot of a long, one-sided exchange that included the following messages:
- “How do you expect me to play this season and I can’t even get my GM on the phone? Thanks for that portal.”
- “Should I call Josh [McDaniels]? Or will he not pick up either?”
- “Why y’all bring me to Vegas? To play with me?”
“That’s kind of a personal situation. We’ve never really gone into those kinds of things,” McDaniels told reporters on Sept. 6. “It’s a private matter.”
After multiple weeks of bizarre social media comments plus an arrest on Sept. 29, the Raiders released Jones.
There have been multiple bizarre incidents since his release that have raised even more cause for concern.
Jones later claimed in an Instagram story that the Raiders had sent a crisis response team to his house. He posted a photo of the office of Dr. Heather Thanepohn, who is the “Clinic Program Manager for the Crisis Response Team,” before posting a follow-up message about it to his Instagram story.
He later shared what he claimed were texts between him and Josh Daniels to prove how he had been treated.
At one point, he made unfounded accusations of child abuse against owner Mark Davis on X (formerly Twitter) before posting that his account had been hacked.
Chandler Jones remained relatively quiet on social media for about a week after that. However, on Monday, Sept. 25, he posted again that he was hospitalized the week before “against his will” and spent time in a behavioral health facility.
Jones wrote in a letter posted to his X (formerly Twitter) account that the Las Vegas Fire Department took him in and that he had to remain hospitalized as part of a “court hold.” He also claimed that he was “injected” with an undisclosed substance despite not consenting to the injections.
“I haven’t done anything wrong,” Jones wrote. “The police said people were concerned about me because of my posts online.”
Chandler Jones Claims CTE Isn’t Real And Has Discussed Starting A Podcast With Antonio Brown
Both Jones and former Steelers, Raiders and Buccaneers standout WR Antonio Brown have been suspected to be suffering mental health issues dude to hard hits over the years. Many have suspected both former star players have CTE.
Chandler Jones says that "CTE isn’t real"
Also confirms he and AB were going to start a podcast named "CTE podcast"pic.twitter.com/Nec2PXUyCi
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 21, 2024
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy otherwise known as CTE has affected boxers since the 1920s, according to the C.T.E. Center at Boston University, however, it came to the attention of a much wider audience in 2007 after a New York Times articlerevealed that former player Andre Waters had sustained brain damage from playing football, which led to his depression and ultimate death by suicide.
The degenerative brain disease is directly related to repeated blows to the head and has been found in the brains of more than 315 former N.F.L. players including some 24 who died in their 20s and 30s. What’s more, is that according to a study published by researchers at Boston University in February 2023, CTE was found in 92% of former NFL players who were analyzed. Indeed, the university explained that of the 376 brains of deceased former NFL players that were studied, 345 of them were diagnosed with CTE
While Chandler Jones doesn’t believe it’s real, there have been deep studies into the brains of famous NFL players like Aaron Hernandez and Junior Seau, who both took their lives via suicide.
Hopefully both Jones and Brown don’t have the disease, but their repetitive bizarre acts of behavior has raised cause for concern.