It’s time to start preparing for an inevitable reality: The KC Chiefs are heading toward a very ugly divorce with star defensive lineman Chris Jones.
This shouldn’t be a surprise for the Kansas City Chiefs. Even before the events on Tuesday night, we have spent the last year watching the Chiefs make zero headway on an extension as Jones has grown more frustrated with every turn.
Kansas City has invested heavily along the defensive line in recent years using back to back thirds in 2018 and 2019 while also giving up a first, second, and large extension to defensive end Frank Clark.
Still, the team remained vocally optimistic about an extension through the entire process and this had led to the majority of fans being confident that their team would retain the star player and fan favorite. But with the string of reports out there that contract negotiations have made no ground and Jones now openly threatening to hold out for the season, it’s obvious this is going to get much uglier before any resolution is made.
To begin with, it’s important to note that I don’t buy Jones’ threat to hold out one bit. Kansas City has the ability to place the franchise tag on Jones for two years in a row before the cap hit starts getting out of control and by all indications will be content doing that to keep their best defensive player on the team.
On top of that, Jones mentioned Le’Veon Bell in his tweet about holding out. While Jones is holding Bell up as a shining example of a holdout getting a player what he wants, it would be better used as a cautionary tale about why a holdout can go terribly wrong.
Before his holdout, Bell was widely viewed as a top five running back in the NFL. He was hugely respected around NFL circles and the Steelers treated him the same offering a large contract to retain their star.
Of course we all know the story from there: Bell felt he was owed an even larger deal and the Steelers refused to budge. After negotiations between the two sides fell through, he proceeded to sit out the entire season before signing for a smaller deal with the Jets.
For Bell, the holdout was catastrophic. His reputation was severely damaged, he was forced to go from a perennial Super Bowl contender to an AFC bottom feeder, he ended up losing millions of dollars, and even saw his play deteriorate.
Today, Bell isn’t even considered a top ten back by most people. Chris Jones is surrounded with brilliant representatives and there is no way they are going to let him walk into a holdout without understanding the high risk of doing one.