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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Chiefs DT Chris Jones threatens to not play in 2020 without long-term contract

A new report on Chris Jones’ contract situation sparked a response from the star defensive tackle.
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The Kansas City Chiefs and Chris Jones aren’t on the same page on a new contract extension and haven’t been for some time according to a new report. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Tuesday night that the star defensive tackle believes he’s a $20M-per-year player. The Chiefs’ front office has yet to offer Jones a contract at that number or greater according to Garafolo.

[Chris Jones] always viewed himself as a $20M-plus-per-year guy,” Garafolo said. “The Chiefs, frankly, never did. Even before the whole COVID situation, they never made an offer north of $20 million — felt like they could get him somewhere below that. A lot of work to be done here if there’s going to be a long-term deal for Chris Jones, who was disruptive throughout the regular season and then in the postseason as well. [Jones] had a pressure in the Super Bowl that led to an interception. This is a guy that has put up the production the last couple of years to deserve a long-term deal. [I’m] not quite sure that it’s going to happen, though.

Once this story started to gain traction in the Chiefs Kingdom, it prompted a response from Jones. He says that he might not play during the 2020 season without a long-term contract from Kansas City.

Jones evoked his friend, New York Jets RB Le’Veon Bell, who infamously held out for the entire 2018 season with Pittsburgh Steelers. He never signed his franchise tag and eventually became a free agent. There is, however, a big difference between Jones’ situation and Bell’s which was pointed out by Over the Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald.

Jones would need to sit out for two seasons in a row in order to hit free agency. That’s a bigger hit to the wallet than most would be willing to take, so this could be an idle threat from Jones. Either way, this type of public contention is never good for business.

This comes just days after NFL Network’s James Palmer reported that lack of clarity surrounding the 2021 salary cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic was holding up negotiations between Jones and the Chiefs. This new report from Garafolo would suggest that the 2021 salary cap might be a convenient excuse.

Nonetheless, as we get closer to the July 15 deadline for a long-term contract extension with franchise-tagged players, expect more information from both sides to reveal the true story about the future of Jones in Kansas City.

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