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Chandler Jones Confirms the Raiders Sent a Crisis Response Team to His Home

Chris Unger. Getty Images.

The situation between one of the most celebrated defensive ends of his generation and the team that signed him last year to a $51 million, $32 million guaranteed deal last season that was already bizarre …

… has deteriorated even further:

Source - Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels said on Wednesday that the team and defensive end Chandler Jones were dealing with “a personal situation and a private matter” when asked about Jones slamming the team on social media earlier this week, but Jones opted to go public again later in the day. 

In posts to his Instagram account that have since been deleted, Jones showed the badge of a member of Las Vegas’ Crisis Response Team that he said the Raiders sent to his home. He said Dr. Heather Thanepohn, who is the clinical program manager of the CRT, told him he needed to come with them because he was “in danger.” …

The Raiders still list Jones as a starter on their depth chart, but it’s clear that there’s a lot unknown about what’s going on between Jones and the team. There may also be reason for concern about Jones’ well-being and making sure he’s healthy is the most significant issue for all involved to deal with at the moment.

Since nothing is ever truly gone from the internet, here's the deleted video:

And here are some still shots:

To say this whole story is surreal would be an understatement. And I can't agree more with that last sentence about Jones' wellness being paramount right now. So we all need to proceed responsibly. If this was 30 years ago - or maybe even 10 - we'd mostly react by crossing our eyes, sticking our tongues out and doing that twirly finger thing next to our temples and talk about how cray-cray this guy is before moving onto the next thing. 

After all, that was the general reaction in January of 2003 when the Raiders' Barrett Robbins, as the saying goes, turned up missing before the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay. The national consensus was "What a nutjob! Imagine blowing off the biggest game of your life? Man, it's always something with those Raiders!" When obviously the truth was obviously much darker.

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But fortunately that ship sailed, and we take even the possibility the person we're talking about might really have issues seriously. 

For sure that was the Raiders approach by sending in a CRT. It's very possible that Jones is perfectly fine, save for some legitimate beef with his employers over football or his contract. There's no telling at this point. But the team is erring on the side of caution, which is better than making assumptions that they're just dealing with your garden variety disgruntled player trying to force a trade or a new contract or whatever.

And they have their reasons. Josh McDaniels was Patriots offensive coordinator in 2015 when Jones had an episode during the playoff bye week:

Boston.com - A shirtless Chandler Jones got down on his knees behind the Foxborough police station Sunday morning and appeared to be “actively praying or worshipping’’ as officers approached him, according to newly released police documents. 

The documents shed some light on what happened with the Patriots defensive end after a Foxborough police officer deleted portions of the official police log about the encounter, which may have violated public records law. Police have called the incident a “medical emergency.’’

To be clear, the police included in their report that Jones was "cooperative and respectful." But still. It was single digits out that morning, but he was shirtless and barefoot and wearing nothing but sweatpants. And even under the best of circumstances, showing up to a police station in a state of crisis on a Sunday morning would seem to be a cry for help.

We never got a public explanation of what happened that day. The most common speculation was that Jones had taken Spice. Allegedly. Which, while it's perfectly legal and sold over the counter at gas stations and convenient stores, is nevertheless a uniquely terrible idea. Not to go all ABC Afterschool Special on you, but that stuff is legal because it's sold as incense, not something to put into your blood stream. As a buddy of mine who was a firefighter pointed out, Drano is legal too, but you shouldn't swallow it any more than you would so-called "synthetic marijuana."

Given that experience, you can perfectly understand why McDaniels would send up the Batsignal for Dr. Heather Thranepohn and her CRT team. Better to be safe than sorry. The kind of sorry that leads to a lifetime of regret. In a perfect world, Jones will prove to be right to post it on the internet and have a big laugh about it. But if it turns out the Raiders had good reason to send Thranepohn's crack unit out, it will be no laughing matter at all. 

Thoughts and prayers this all works out.