At the beginning of the offseason, the Chiefs used the team’s franchise tag on star DT Chris Jones.
With the tag, Jones is under team control for this upcoming season. However, there is a possibility of having no Chris Jones on the field in a Chiefs uniform this season.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that there is “not much traction” between Kansas City and Jones on a new contract.
On Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has since added to this report that no discussions or negotiations have occurred since the tag was placed on Jones.
On top of the report, Jones has not participated in the Chiefs virtual OTAs and will continue to not participate in any outlet.
Jones is one of the league’s top interior defensive lineman. He has been a key aspect to the Chiefs defense, playing a crucial role en route to the franchise’s first Super Bowl Victory in 50 years.
Over his four year career, Jones has tallied 33 sacks and seven forced fumbles. This past season, Jones added a Super Bowl Championship and a first-time Pro Bowl to his resume. In 2018, Jones was named second-team All-Pro after finishing the season with a career-high 15.5 sacks.
With the stalemate between the Jones and the Chiefs, a holdout or a trade could be forthcoming.
The past couple seasons the league has seen players hold out into the season. For example, running baks Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon have held out and changed teams the following offseason.
The league has also seen top defensive players be traded and given a new contract elsewhere. For example, the San Francisco 49ers treaded star DT DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round draft pick in last month’s draft. Buckner became the second-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league following the trade.
Despite the mutual interest from both sides on keeping Jones in KC for years to come beyond 2020, the pending contract extension of 2018 NFL MVP and Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes has an impact on the availability of signing Jones.
With the Chiefs current cap situation and the pending contract of Mahomes, a Jones holdout or trade could become more likely.
Regardless, Chris Jones has become of the league’s elite defensive players and is going to get paid in his next contract, but the question remains is if it is in KC or elsewhere.