Time for Kansas City Chiefs to make a decision on Chris Jones

Chris Jones #95 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Chris Jones #95 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

We’re still less than two weeks removed from what may have been the single greatest day in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s why talking about Chris Jones’ situation is still a little painful.

To many in Chiefs Kingdom like myself, the realization that our team actually are champions of the football world is just setting in. To others, the celebration still hasn’t stopped since that final Patrick Mahomes heave down the field to run out the clock. In the offices at 1 Arrowhead Drive, that celebration period has passed and there is a lot of work to do if the Kansas City Chiefs don’t want to wait another 50 years to be on top.

Who are the Chiefs going to draft in April? What players are they going to target in free agency to improve? And of course, who will the team let walk of their coming free agents? With all those decisions in mind though, the biggest and most pressing is what they will do with defensive lineman Chris Jones.

After being drafted four years ago in the second round, Chris Jones has steadily risen from talented youngster to a superstar player up front.

Also. Difficulty in Valuation of Potential Chris Jones Contract. light

Two seasons ago he was a second team all-pro, recording 15.5 sacks, swatting down five passes and forcing two fumbles. This year, despite only starting 12 games, and spending a good amount of time banged up, he was arguably better: recording nine sacks, swatting four passes and forcing another fumble.

The thing about Jones isn’t just his stats, but all he does to affect the game. Take the Super Bowl for example; Chris Jones’ stats weren’t eye popping, but he was constantly requiring double teams that freed up other guys like Frank Clark and Khalen Saunders to then go on and make plays.

The dominant 49er run attack would go through large stretches where they couldn’t run the ball between the tackles largely because of Jones. Also, the first Jimmy Garoppolo interception was started with intense pressure from Jones that forced the quarterback to move in the pocket.

This was nothing new for Jones; He’s a star and has played like one every chance he’s gotten the last two seasons while becoming one of the most well liked and popular players with the Kansas City fans. That being said, all the good he’s done for the Chiefs has come at a price, and now he’s ready to collect.

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The problem with Jones is that he is going to command a massive contract, potentially over 20 million dollars a year. Factoring in the mega contract Mahomes is going to get soon and that would put the Chiefs in a position where they can’t bring in many players and in fact will have to watch other good players leave in the coming years.

Kansas City can trade him. In fact, that is what the Chiefs did last year with Frank Clark and they certainly don’t regret it. If the Chiefs go this route, that is the value they’d be able to get back and that is massive.

With Mahomes’ monstrous contract on the way, having the ability to draft cheap talent will be incredibly important to make sure the Chiefs stay competitive. That being said, the Chiefs need to realize that any player they get with draft picks from Jones might be cheaper, but certainly won’t be able to make the impact Jones does, especially not in the first few seasons.

So what do Andy Reid and Brett Veach do? Do they sign their star or trade to him to get young, cheap, talent?

Either option would work out well for the KC Chiefs, but I would rather trade him because Kansas City will need more financial flexibility down the road. It actually doesn’t matter what decision the Chiefs make; What matters is that they make a decision, and make it before the draft in April.

Must Read. Potential Landing Spots for Chris Jones in 2020. light

What the Chiefs can’t do is try to kick this decision down the road by franchising their star for 2020. John Dorsey was famous (or infamous) for franchising defensive players and waiting until the last possible minute to give them extensions.

We saw it twice during his tenure, once with Eric Berry and earlier with Justin Houston. The result both times was missed team activities, contracts that were much larger than they should’ve been, and tenures in Kansas City that ended in players getting waived.

Brett Veach needs to learn from his predecessor’s mistakes. If he chooses to franchise Jones for the season, or even with the hopes of deal being made this summer, all it will lead to is an extended hold out that both cast a shadow over team activities and fracture Jones’ relationship with the fans.

That choice will lead to us sitting here in the future with Jones having more leverage to demand a larger deal and Kansas City with less trade value than they have now.

If the Chiefs believe Chris Jones is an irreplaceable talent that is an integral part of their future Super Bowl aspirations, that’s great; Sign him now to a long-term deal and we’ll deal with salary cap issues down the road.

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If, like I do, the Chiefs believe that more high draft picks and cap room is a better long-term recipe to this team winning championships, then that is also great; Start reaching out to other teams and have him moved as soon as possible.

What the Chiefs absolutely can’t do is just push this issue off for another year. It’s not the right thing to do for Chris Jones, it’s not right for the fans who support both him and the team, and most of all it’s not a decision that will help the franchise win more championships.