Antonio Pierce Says He Made a High-Stakes Proposal to Raiders Owner Mark Davis During the Decision to Claim Jack Jones Off Waivers

One of the Raiders’ most impactful personnel moves within the last year turned out to be the in-season addition of former Patriots’ cornerback Jack Jones.

Jones was waived by the Patriots on November 13, and it was announced two days later that he was awarded to the Raiders in the league’s waiver process.

For Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce, his relationship with Jones goes all the way back to his time as the head coach of Long Beach Poly High School and continued at Arizona State, where Pierce was the linebackers coach and was eventually promoted to defensive coordinator.

Pierce talked this week to Keyshawn Johnson on the All Facts No Brakes podcast and shared the story of how the Raiders reached the decision to put in a claim for Jones after the Patriots placed him on waivers.

Pierce said he tried to talk the Raiders’ decision makers into drafting Jones back in 2022, but “wasn’t in a position to have any say.” The Patriots drafted Jones in the fourth round (one pick ahead of the Raiders) and when the opportunity came again to get his former player, Pierce said he didn’t want to miss it…

“As soon as [Jack Jones] hit that wire and I saw it come across, I ran right upstairs to our interim GM Champ Kelly. I said ‘Champ, he can help us.” [Champ said] ‘Aww, I don’t know, man. He got a lot of baggage.’

I said ‘Oh, I know. Trust me. I been here for all of it.’

Then I went to Mark Davis. [He said] ‘I don’t know A.P. Right now you want to do that?’

So, I let it kind of ride for about a couple hours and went downstairs and did some homework, watched some more film, researched a little bit more and went back upstairs. This time it wasn’t about asking. I’m pounding on the table. I said ‘You know what? I believe in him so much, if we F this up, get rid of both of us at the end of the season because I know what I’m getting with Jack Jones.’

First and foremost, Jack is not a bad young man. He’s a father. He graduated from ASU. He made decisions that we all made at certain times in our life that we wish we could go back. He has never hurt anybody. He’s done nothing so criminal that he’s put himself in the position to be jailed…

But when you put him in a culture and an environment where he can be taught, led, groomed, hugged, loved, disciplined, and you can keep recycling that cycle with him, you’re going to get the best out of him. And what you saw in those last six or seven weeks that he was with us, was just that. Because on the field, he’s a problem, and that’s in a good way.”

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