Monday brought the news that the Oakland Raiders have signed cornerback Taiwan Jones to a three year contract extension totaling $4.355 million dollars. In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected him in the fourth round and he played at running back and special teams up until this past season when general manager Reggie McKenzie announced that Jones would be making the switch from running back to cornerback.
Jones is no stranger to the position as he was a cornerback in 2007 at Eastern Washington University where he was a redshirt freshman. He was switched back to the position of running back in 2009, a position that he’d played in high school. Jones logged 14 tackles, 12 solos, and also 2 forced fumbles this past season.
Jones was most recently involved in representing the Raiders alongside long snapper Jon Condo in the launch of We Day which is an event that was crated to celebrate youth who are giving back to their communities, be it local, national, or global. According to We Day’s official site, the event “is the movement of our time, empowering a generation of young global citizens through an inspirational event and a year-long educational initiative called We Act, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.”
The launch event that Jones was at saw 900 students in attendance and was an opportunity to let them get an idea of what the upcoming We Day events would be like. Students were very excited to see the Raiders players take the stage and Jones was surprised by the reception they received from the kids in attendance and was blown away from the passion that the students had for community service.
He said, “I was just excited. We weren’t expecting it, we didn’t know how the crowd was going to react, but the moment they announced our names and we walked out there, the energy was just awesome. I think it’s just awesome to see this young generation want to help out and be part of something great and just going and being involved in the community. It’s mind blowing to see that.”
Jones also participated in the 2013 Holiday Heroes event at AT&T Park in San Francisco that is put on by the Wender Weis Foundation for Children whose mission is to improve children’s self-esteem and self-confidence. The foundation achieves this by funding existing programs or creating new ones that will provide children in underserved communities with gifts of encouragement and self-confidence.
The Holiday Heroes event is an evening put together for San Francisco Bay Area families and children in need. The families and children enjoy access to the San Francisco Giants’ dugout and batting tunnels along with the exclusive opportunity to meet local athletes. Jones was there to represent the Raiders.
It seems that Jones has a big interest in working with children. He is also one of the Raiders who participated in the NFL Play60 event back in November working to keep kids active and healthy. In October, he was present for a Live United event called Hometown Huddle and he said that he “Had a great time with the kids today. It’s a blessing to be a positive influence in someone’s life”.
Just this past weekend, Jones shared on Instagram that he was taking a group of over 18 kids to Monster Jam. The photos posted from the event show some of the biggest grins on these kids’ faces and it definitely shows that Jones thoroughly enjoys interacting with the children from his local community. It’s always fantastic to see players who are so involved in their community.
Raider Nation is anxiously awaiting the re-signing of a handful of free agents, but Jones has been the first one to be locked down. His three year contract extension makes him one of the NFL’s highest paid special teams players. Jones has made an impact on special teams even though he has not had much success as a running back and shifted positions to cornerback this year. Head coach Dennis Allen remarked that the transition was a difficult one. Jones is please to have been able to sign a contract extension with the Raiders and says, “I’m glad to be part of it, happy to remain here and there are big things coming that I am happy to be part of it. I feel good about next year.”