The KC Chiefs are lucky to have Chris Jones along their defensive line and his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports put together a list of the best EDGE rushers and defensive linemen. He had Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs as the second best defensive lineman in the league, trailing just Aaron Donald (being second to Donald in this category isn’t a bad thing).
"Jones, who turns 26 on July 3, had nine last season and 15.5 the season before that. For the second straight year he was the NFL’s No. 2 interior pass rusher, according to PFF. He’s currently playing on the $16.1 million franchise tag but a lucrative long-term deal is in his future."
The nine last season comment refers to sacks, which is something Jones has been very consistent with during his time as a Chief. He’s been the anchor along the Kansas City defensive line and when paired with Frank Clark, the Chiefs have a legitimate pass rushing duo.
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It’s been a unique offseason for the Chiefs and Chris Jones, who have yet to agree on a new deal for the former second round pick. It’s likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in the discussions not being as prevalent as they normally would have been.
Pair that with the fact that the Chiefs have to shell out a ton of money to Patrick Mahomes and it might get increasingly difficult to give Jones the kind of money he wants. According to Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com, the number Jones wants for average salary is around $21 million, which is fair, but might be too steep for the Chiefs at this point.
There’s no debating what kind of player Jones has been during his time in Kansas City though and it’d be tough for the team not to bring him back. At the same time, however, winning Super Bowls does come at a cost and that’s that it’s tougher to keep high quality players.
As for the rest of the defensive linemen on Wilson’s list, Kenny Clark, Grady Jarrett, and Fletcher Cox round out the top five. For the EDGE rushers, T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Chandler Jones, Cameron Jordan, and Joey Bosa are the top five on Wilson’s rankings.
Hopefully there is a way for the KC Chiefs to give Jones the kind of money he wants while also being able to bring in other key free agents, but at the end of the day, football is a business and if the organization opts to move on from him, then that’s the move they feel best benefits them moving forward.