Updated September 6, 2023 - 9:35 pm
A day after posting a series of disparaging remarks about the Raiders on social media, veteran defensive end Chandler Jones was not with the team Wednesday when it began preparations for the season opener at Denver.
It’s unclear if he will rejoin the club, but the saga took another turn Wednesday night.
Shortly before 8 p.m., Jones posted on his Instagram stories a photo of the badge of a member of the city of Las Vegas Crisis Response Team, who appeared to be at his front door.
“Raiders sent her to my place said .. You need to come with us ‘You’re in danger,’” Jones posted on the next frame.
Attempts to contact the Raiders and the city to confirm Jones’ story were unsuccessful.
Jones later continued to post, saying he would release unspecified information if coach Josh McDaniels didn’t let him play Sunday.
“I’m a be nice Josh.. I wanted to play Sunday.. If you left (let) me play I won’t share anything else,” Jones posted.
Jones continued to post into the night.
Earlier in the day, McDaniels declined to comment on a slew of angry social media posts made on Jones’ account Tuesday. McDaniels described the situation as a “personal matter.”
The gist of his outburst was that the Raiders had locked him out of their facility, he could not get McDaniels or general manager Dave Ziegler on the phone, and he no longer wanted to play for the Raiders under the two.
The posts were eventually deleted. McDaniels opted not to delve into the matter when he met with the media Wednesday.
“That’s kind of a personal situation,” he said. “We’ve never really gone into those kinds of things, so I’m going to steer away from that. It’s a private matter, and if there’s something to report on it, then we’ll do that.”
When asked if Jones would be on the field Sunday against the Broncos, McDaniels said: “Right now, we’re going day to day. He’s not going to be here today, so we’re going to take it one day at a time.”
It was obvious from the tone of the locker room that Jones’ teammates were determined not to let the situation become a distraction.
“Everybody just has to focus on what we’ve got to focus on,” wide receiver Davante Adams said. “The only thing that’s important this week is this game, so we’ve got to lock in on that.”
McDaniels’ reluctance to shed any light on what happened and his characterization of the saga as “personal” and “private” raises questions about what exactly unfolded — especially because this isn’t the first time Jones has acted erratically.
In 2016, when he was with the New England Patriots, a shirtless Jones showed up unannounced to a Foxborough Police Department at 7:40 a.m. and, according to the official police report, behaved in a bizarre manner.
Jones was eventually taken to a hospital for what was described as a medical emergency. It was determined he had experienced a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana.
His actions Tuesday at least raise the question of whether something triggered an outburst.
As far as the Raiders’ options, everything appears on the table, including releasing Jones outright.
Given the nature and content of the posts, a reconciliation seems doubtful. If that’s the case, the Raiders could try to trade him and at least recoup some compensation.
The Raiders have already paid the bulk of the $17 million Jones was owed this year, so any team that traded for him would only be on the hook for his $1.65 million base salary.
But the Raiders stand to absorb a big salary cap hit whether they trade or release him.
In a release scenario, they would incur a 2023 dead cap hit of $13,584,000 and a 2024 dead cap hit of $12,268,000.
Trading him would result in 2023 and 2024 dead cap hits of $12,419,000 and $12,268,000, respectively.
McDaniels said dealing with distractions is par for the course for an NFL team.
“We’ll deal with different things throughout the course of the year, whether it’s injuries or other adversity,” McDaniels said. “The guys are focused on trying to control the things that they can control and get ready to play the best game we can play on Sunday.”
Who: Raiders at Broncos
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Empower Field at Mile High
Radio: KRLV-AM (920), KOMP-FM (92.3)
Line: Broncos -3½; total 44½