Raiders: Breaking down newly-signed DT Datone Jones

Raiders (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed veteran defensive lineman Datone Jones.

The Las Vegas Raiders and the rest of the NFL were finally given the ability to bring in free agents for tryouts on Wednesday as restrictions from COVID-19 were lifted.

And the team evidently didn’t wait very long to take advantage of this reportedly signing veteran defensive lineman Datone Jones the same day he was brought in for a tryout.

A first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers back in 2013, Jones spent four years with the organization failing to make the impact expected of a player with his draft status.

While he did play in 59 total games with the Packers, he made just seven starts and totaled nine sacks. And after the team opted not to pick up his fifth-year option, he subsequently departed in free agency.

After leaving the Packers, 2017 would be a very busy year for the former UCLA standout. Jones signed on with the Minnesota Vikings, but was released with an injury settlement in early September.

A month later he was signed by yet another NFC North team in the Detroit Lions, but was released after just a week without appearing in a game. From there, he would sign with the San Francisco 49ers serving as much-needed depth to an injury-riddled defensive line.

Jones played in three games with the 49ers making six tackles before he was released for a third time. Finally, Jones would sign on with the Dallas Cowboys where he would make a marginal impact starting two of the final four games and making nine total tackles.

The Cowboys opted to re-sign Jones in the offseason, but after playing in just one game, he was placed on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Jones would spend the 2019 preseason with the Jacksonville Jaguars but was released as part of final roster cuts. Realistically, Jones hasn’t been part of a regular defensive line rotation since the 2016 or 2017 season.

The Raiders are hoping to see Datone Jones provide some extra defensive line depth.

But the Raiders will obviously be hoping he could provide some extra depth for the team as he looks to earn a roster spot. While primarily a 3-4 defensive end to this point, he likely fits better as a three-technique defensive tackle in the Raiders’ scheme.

Clearly, this is yet another move where defensive line coach Rod Marinelli has had some influence. Jones joins Maliek Collins and Daniel Ross as free-agent pickups who played under Marinelli while with the Cowboys.

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With any luck, the 30-year-old Jones will be given one final shot to earn a roster spot this summer.