How the situation will play out between the Kansas City Chiefs and ChrisJones is still a mystery, but there is a route that makes sense for both sides.
As there is little to discuss in actual sports due to the ongoing pandemic, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones made waves Tuesday night when he commented on his contract status and his intention for the upcoming season.
The genesis of this tweet initiated around a discussion on NFL Network in regards to what player in the league deserved a contract extension, but according to the discussion, didn’t believe a deal would get done if the offer wasn’t over $20 million per season.
The question for some had always been would the Chiefs get a deal done with Jones by the NFL mandated deadline of July 15th, the last day a long-term deal can be reached with a franchise tagged player. The question should have been would Jones be with the Chiefs in 2020, not if he had a long-term deal in hand.
Simply put, the Chiefs and Chris Jones really are not talking, at all.
James Palmer confirmed such notion in a tweet from last week.
So the question, if Brett Veach isn’t willing to meet the Chris Jones asking price, is he willing to try and trade him before the July 15th deadline (deadline applies to all teams, so if Jones is traded, would need to happen before that date) or let it play out?
From the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Kansas City Chiefs appear to have gone out of their way to not give Jones a new deal.
They traded for Frank Clark while surrendering two draft picks to Seattle and gifting Clark with a massive contract. Big contracts were given to Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill. Patrick Mahomes is now in position to set the world on fire with his new contract as he is now eligible for a new deal.
Yet, Chris Jones continues to wait.
After showing up and putting up big numbers in 2019, Jones is in line for a massive contract. He can sit out the 2020 season, as he’s accrued the necessary four seasons for unrestricted free agency. So what will happen?
Chris Jones and the Kansas City Chiefs will not reach a deal by the July 15th deadline.
The Chiefs simply don’t have the cap room this year to front load a new deal and they are already in a tough cap situation next year, exacerbated by the very real concerns about the 2021 cap.
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The July 15th deadline will pass without a new deal and training camp will start, and finish without Chris Jones. Jones, because he’s technically not under contract (hasn’t signed the franchise tender) is not required to hold out and will face no fines if he does). The season will start, and Jones will not be there.
If Jones does miss games, will he sit out the entire season? While he can, and he will likely sit out a significant number of games, he will report later during the season. So when does he report?
He will probably report during the week leading up to the game against the Carolina Panthers, currently scheduled for November 8th. He obviously won’t play during that game, and then the bye week follows.
That gives him seven games in the 2020 season, and eight weeks of payments on his contract (players get paid on their bye week). Based on his $16.1 million franchise tag, Chris Jones would earn roughly $7.576 million during the 2020 season.
Jones and the Chiefs stalemate will proceed into the start of the 2021 offseason when the Chiefs tag the defensive tackle again. This time, they are likely more aggressive in looking for a trade partner and add to their 2021 draft stock.
In summation, the Chiefs could have signed Chris Jones, as they have been able to do so since the end the 2018 season and have not, opting instead to sign and trade for Clark and big contracts to Hill and Mathieu.
Jones wants to get paid, as he should, but the Kansas City Chiefs don’t appear to have the money available. Chris Jones likely plays a small portion of the 2020 season and then moves on after this upcoming season.