Raiders should give Chris Jones a blank check if he hits free agency

Raiders, Chris Jones (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Raiders, Chris Jones (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders should be prepared to open their checkbook for defensive lineman Chris Jones if he manages to hit free agency.

The Las Vegas Raiders overachieved in 2019, but still fell just short of returning to the postseason. And if they’re going to make strides next season, they’re going to need to make some major moves this offseason.

With two first-round draft picks, the Raiders should have the necessary capital to make some significant acquisitions come late April. But before the draft comes around, the team should also be able to make some noise in free agency.

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

The Raiders are projected to have a little over $50 million in cap space this offseason but could free up more with a few roster cuts. Among those are veterans such as Gabe Jackson and Tahir Whitehead.

And if the Raiders are looking at making a big-name acquisition in free agency, one player that must be at the forefront of discussions is Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Jones was originally drafted by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft and it didn’t take long for him to develop into one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league.

The Mississippi State product has tallied a whopping 24.5 sacks over the past two seasons and made his first Pro Bowl this past season. And on a Raiders team needing impactful defenders, Jones is the ideal target.

More from Golden Gate Sports

The Raiders already host a pretty solid defensive line featuring the likes of Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby on the edge. Crosby, in particular, showed flashes of stardom in 2019 while Ferrell improved as the season went on.

On the interior, Maurice Hurst impressed in his rookie season and recorded 3.5 more sacks last season. But adding an elite interior presence like Jones would do wonders for the team’s overall defense.

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther previously coached Geno Atkins during his time in Cincinnati. Pairing him up with Jones could help recreate some of the magic the two had together with the Bengals.

The only issue is, will the Chiefs actually let him walk?

Jones briefly held out last summer and the two sides never came to terms on an extension. Of course, the Chiefs could always opt to place the franchise tag on their star defensive tackle but they run the risk of having him hold out again.

The 25-year-old likely wants an extension and the Chiefs might not have the financial flexibility to re-sign him to a long-term deal.

That could open the door for the Raiders to swoop in and steal one of the best players from their division rivals.

Next. Raiders: Top 4 wide receivers to target in free agency. dark

If Jones hits the market, Chris Jones should be the Raiders’ top target.