This article is not about whether the Kansas City Chiefs should or should not trade Chris Jones. This article is going to look at the best trade partners only if the Chiefs trade Jones because whether we like it or not, it’s a realistic possibility.
My first phone call if I was Brett Veach would be to the Detroit Lions. The Lions have a defensive-minded head coach in Matt Patricia who would love to have an elite player to build a defense around. They also have the cap space available to sign him long term and the draft position to make the Chiefs happy.
If they would trade their second-round pick in 2020 (pick 35), a fourth-round pick in 2020 (pick 109), and a second in 2021, I’d take it. That gives the Chiefs and Veach three more draft picks of good value. It’s not a first, but the Lions wouldn’t trade the third overall pick but still getting a second pick in the top 35 isn’t anything to sneeze at.
My second call would be to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and see just how all in they are going after their signing of Tom Brady. Even with the signing of Brady they still have around $30 million in cap space this season and plenty in years to come. But you don’t sign Brady to worry about the cap in 2023.
So if they are going all in this bad now, they need all the proven talent that can lineup for the next two seasons. I would start my asking price for them at their first-round pick in 2020 (pick 14) and their second of two fourth-round picks in 2020 (pick 139). I would prefer to get more picks, but if the Chiefs can get up to 14th that puts them in line for a great known player. If the Chiefs don’t see anyone worth the 14th picks, they could likely trade back to the high teens or low 20’s and gain a couple extra picks. Trade with a desperate team like the Bucs could give the Chiefs a lot of wiggle room in the 2020 draft.
My final call looking for what I really wanted would be to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are loaded with draft picks in the 2020 draft. Like the Bucs, the Packers have an aging quarterback looking for one more good run. Their cap space in 2020 is limited, but they have over $50 million in 2021. They could easily work a Jones contract to be backloaded making it fit into their budget.
I would ask the Packers for their first (pick 30) and sixth (pick 192) in the 2020 draft and third in the 2021 draft. Those three added picks would give Veach good ammunition to continue to build up the Chiefs’ foundation for the future.
My guess is a lot of you will see this and say “that’s not enough for Jones, he’s worth more”. I would love to get multiple first-round picks for Jones, but I don’t think that’s realistic. If he was under a rookie contract for two more years I think you could get that value. But knowing a team that trades for him will have to give him a huge contract, they aren’t going to want to give up the draft capital and contract.
If those three teams all balk at my offers, then that is where Veach and the Chiefs have to do some real thinking. Are they so far apart on a Jones long term contract that a deal can’t be made? If that is the case then they need to trade Jones for whatever the best offer they can get.
Fans need to remember, what picks the team gets for a player the day of the trade doesn’t matter. All that matters is what the team does with those picks. If the Chiefs got three first-round picks people would be ecstatic. If those draft picks were all Jon Baldwin level nobody would be happy. If they got three third-round picks, fans would riot in the streets. But if they turned that into three Travis Kelce level players it would be an awesome trade. So whatever happens, just be patient and trust the Chiefs’ front office.