It looks like the Kansas City Chiefs will have a full house when camp begins. On Friday, players began reporting, and that will include defensive lineman Chris Jones.
Earlier in July, it seemed as though Jones would hold out of training camp over a contract dispute. He is entering the final year of a four-year, $6.23 million rookie deal. Jones will make a base salary of $1.19 million in 2019.
Jones was selected by the Chiefs with the 37th overall pick of the 2016 draft. In his first three seasons in the league, Jones has not missed a game. He has 100 career tackles and 24 career sacks. He finished last season with 15.5 sacks. Jones broke out in his third year as a pro contributing at least one sack in 11 straight games.
“He knows his value and if he has to play out his deal in order to reach free agency, then that’s what he will do,” Jones’ agent, the Katz. Brothers, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “For now, he’s focused on winning a Super Bowl for Kansas City.”
Jones and the Chiefs Contract Talks
Jones has decided to bet on himself. He will report to camp on time rather than holdout. Kansas City has made it clear that extending Jones has been priority No. 1 this offseason, however, both sides seem to be far apart in talks.
Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid spoke about Jones on Tuesday when he arrived at training camp.
“So Chris Jones would be the other topic of interest,” Reid said. “With Chris we’ll know more. Our people have talked with Chris’ people, and there has been communication there. So we’ll just see whether he’s here or not here. We obviously want him here, and I think he probably wants to be here too. But we’ll see how all of that works out.”
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Jones and the Chiefs have kept in contact. Both sides have negotiated a new contract for awhile now, but the Chiefs did not discuss while Jones was away from the team. With him reporting to camp, talks should heat up quickly.
Jones deciding to report to camp eliminates yet another distraction that the Chiefs cold have potentially faced. It also makes this defense significantly better.
Keeping up With the Joneses
The Chiefs’ defense needs Jones. They were near the bottom of almost every defensive category last season. Kansas City has made strides in improving their defense. Steve Spagnuolo is the new defensive coordinator, and will implement a new scheme. The Chiefs added Tyrann Mathieu to bolster their secondary.
The biggest addition to their defense was defensive end Frank Clark. He spent the first four seasons of his career in Seattle before coming to Kansas City. With Clark and Jones, the Chiefs front seven will be a force when rushing the quarterback.
The Chiefs’ offense is elite, that is clear. With Jones back on the defensive line, they have a chance to become a strong defense. This will go a long way when getting set to face an extremely strong AFC come the postseason.