As bad as he was and as bad as he’s been, the Los Angeles Chargers aren’t giving up on Cardale Jones. At least not yet.
In setting their initial 53-man roster, Jones was part of it. I say initial as changes can still be made and often times, that happens. But as of now, the Chargers are going with three quarterbacks on the roster.
Geno Smith won the backup job and will serve as the No. 2 in an emergency in case something happens to Philip Rivers, which would be extremely rare as El Capitan has started every game for the team since 2006.
Was it the connection to Anthony Lynn that saved Jones? It had to be something, because his play on the field wasn’t earth shattering during the preseason. While Jones wasn’t terrible, he was clearly outplayed by the season veteran Smith.
Still, the team feels that Jones can still develop and perhaps be part of its future plans.
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Jones will likely be a gameday inacvtive just about every week this season but he’ll still be able to practice with the team and sit in on film sessions with two quarterbacks who have been there and done that. That knowledge could prove invaluable to the soon-to-be 26-year old quarterback.
A fourth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2016, Jones was obtained by the Chargers last July via trade. For his career, he has 96 yards passing and an interception to his credit.
Unless there is a major disaster, Jones won’t play this season and can use 2018 as another year to grow as a professional quarterback. That is, if the team doesn’t still release him.
As I said, this is an initial 53-man roster. As other teams around the league cut players (like a tight end), the Chargers could then put in a waiver claim to obtain that player. Jones would likely be one of the first players on the list to go if that happens, so there is still no guarantee that his career is going to continue in Los Angeles.
But he’s safe for now.