Chandler Jones, without a shadow of a doubt, has been one of the best players in the NFL over the past decade and, at least in my opinion, should be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his time comes. He truly has been a special player.
Since being drafted in 2012, Chandler Jones has spent time with three teams—the New England Patriots, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Las Vegas Raiders. However, that third team came so close to being the Atlanta Falcons, according to Chandler himself.
The Atlanta Falcons came so close to being Chandler Jones' third team
Franchise pass rushers have eluded the Atlanta Falcons ever since they released John Abraham back in 2013. Who knew back then that it would take so long to find his replacement (which still hasn't happened) and that they would come oh-so-close to landing one ten years later who was entering his second season as a professional when Abraham was let go?
That is the exact storyline that took place. Chandler Jones, who had 107.5 career sacks, came within an inch of signing with the Atlanta Falcons last offseason.
How do I know that? Well, last year I was able to attend the 2022 NFL Draft that was being held in Las Vegas. At that moment in time, Chandler Jones had already signed with the Raiders. I was able to meet him and I commented about how badly I wanted the Falcons to sign him the month prior.
He responded by saying that it was actually a toss-up between the Falcons and the Raiders. Both teams were in it until the end but ultimately, the Raiders won. LV signed him to a three-year, $51 million contract with $32 million guaranteed.
This was a bit surprising to hear. I had seen rumors that the Falcons were interested but this was when they were essentially purging their roster. Signing a veteran to a big deal didn't seem like it was in the cards. Looking back on it, it certainly seems like something they would have done this offseason.
However, I was wrong, Terry Fontenot wanted Chandler Jones in Atlanta and you cannot blame them. He has been an uber-productive player throughout his career and while his first season in Vegas didn't turn out as he expected, he could still easily add another double-digit sack season to his resumé.
He is a player that still has plenty of gas left in the tank. It would be nice to have him right now with all the new additions from this offseason and all the young talent. I mean, who wouldn't want to see Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell on the field together for a second time in their careers?
It is also worth mentioning that he is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is so sociable and happy to take time out of his day for others. Certainly seemed like the type of person and player that Fontenot and Arthur Smith would have wanted on their team.