Sources: Las Vegas Raiders reach deal with pass-rusher Chandler Jones, trade Yannick Ngakoue to I...

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Las Vegas Raiders revamped their defense on the first official day of the new league year by reaching agreement on a free-agent contract with four-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher Chandler Jones, sources told ESPN, and acquiring cornerback Rock Ya-Sin from the Indianapolis Colts in a trade for veteran defensive end Yannick Ngakoueon Wednesday.

The news of Jones' signing was first reported by NFL Network, which said the Jones deal with Las Vegas was for three years and more than $51 million.

Jones, 32, solidified himself as one of the NFL's top pass-rushers during his time with the Arizona Cardinals, whom he joined in 2016 when he was traded from the New England Patriots.

He earned three of his four career Pro Bowl selections in Arizona (2017, '19 and '21) and was named first-team All-Pro in 2017 and '19. He also had 71.5 of his 107.5 sacks -- which are the most in the NFL since 2012 -- with the Cardinals, setting the franchise record for career sacks this past season.

Jones had double-digit sacks in five of his six seasons with the Cardinals. The only year he didn't was 2020, when his season ended with just one sack after five games because of a biceps injury.

He returned in 2021 to get 10.5 sacks, two years after finishing with 19.

However, last season wasn't without questions about Jones' future with the Cardinals. Jones didn't get the extension or new contract he wanted heading into the final season of his five-year deal and asked for a trade. He didn't get that either.

Jones did not report for OTAs or minicamp last offseason but showed up to training camp and played in 15 of 17 games, missing two because he was on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

He made $15.5 million in 2021 and will be a bookend with recently re-signed defensive end Maxx Crosby, who was the Pro Bowl defensive MVP and signed an extension worth $95 million last week, in new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham's scheme.

"Give us good players," Graham said last week, "and we'll be good to go."

Ngakoue, meanwhile, had 10 sacks last season, his first in Las Vegas, and rejoins former Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Indianapolis as he gives the Colts some much-needed help in the pass-rush department.

The Colts dropped from 40 sacks in 2020 to 33 in 2021 after the departures of Denico Autry and Justin Houston in free agency. Ngakoue has 55 sacks in his career. He also fits the mold of what Colts general manager Chris Ballard looks for in making moves because Ngakoue is only 26 years old and still in the prime of his career.

Ngakoue will be part of a pass-rush group that also featuresKwity PayeandDayo Odeyingbo, the Colts' first two draft picks in 2021.

Ya-Sin, who turns 26 in May, has started 29 of 41 games since the Colts drafted him in the second round (No. 34 overall) of the 2019 draft out of Temple. Depending upon what else the Raiders do in free agency -- Las Vegas has been linked to veteran Stephon Gilmore -- Ya-Sin should compete for a starting job oppositeTrayvon Mullen.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Ya-Sin has two career interceptions and 20 passes defensed with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

ESPN's Josh Weinfuss and Mike Wells contributed to this report.

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