Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach delivered an update on defensive tackle Chris Jones’ looming contract extension during his pre-draft meeting with reporters Thursday morning. Based off his remarks, looks like Kansas City’s front office are planning on taking their time to ensure both sides are satisfied with the terms.
Via Arrowhead Pride: “We’ve had a lot of discussion with Chris and the Katz brothers (Jones’ agents), and we continue to have that,” Veach explained. “We’ve got a lot of time, certainly these are — it’s a unique environment in which we’re working with, and we were able to kind of navigate the free agency period and retain some guys. We’re going to work through the draft and we’re going to continue dialogue. But we know how talented Chris is, and I think the franchise tag speaks for it, and we also have a lot of time.”
The Chiefs officially franchise tagged the 25-year-old March 16, hoping to buy themselves some time to work out a favorable deal.
In his address, Veach also identified a deadline on when he’d like the deal to be official.
“I think the deadline to get a deal done is July 15, so there’s a lot of time to continue the dialogue and to work on something with Chris. We certainly are going to work to maintain him not just for next year, but for the future.”
The Mississippi State product will earn $16.1 million if he decides to play under the tag this upcoming season.
Veach Also Delivered His Thoughts on the Virtual Draft
As all 32 franchises across the league prepare for a virtual draft, Veach unveiled what that will look for the Super Bowl champions, including how the process has been concerning meeting with incoming rookies via video capabilities as opposed to in-person.
Per Chiefs reporter BJ Kissel, that doesn’t imply that things will be as streamlined when the actual draft takes places on April 23, anticipating some mishaps when each team is “on the clock.”
The 2020 NFL Draft is scheduled to air Thursday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.
Could the Chiefs Trade out of Round 1 of the Draft?
A quiet offseason for Kansas City has worked in their favor. While they haven’t made any signings that rival some of the other deals conducted across the league over the last month, they’ve done a find job of retaining 20 of their 22 starters heading into the upcoming season.
With just five picks to their name this year and less than $3 million in salary cap space as of publishing, the Chiefs are more than likely to move out of Round 1, with the possibility of working with a team who would benefit more from the number 32 spot.
The Athletic’s Nate Taylor writes: “Veach has yet to trade back with his first pick in the past two drafts as the Chiefs’ GM. In 2018, the Chiefs moved up eight spots in the second round to select defensive end Breeland Speaks. And last year, the Chiefs moved up five spots in the second round to select receiver Mecole Hardman. This year, though, I do think it’s more likely that the Chiefs move down from the 32nd pick since the team has just five picks — all in the first five rounds — in the draft.
“Veach is known for making shrewd selections in the second and third rounds of previous drafts, and there are plenty of talented prospects this year who will be available then. By moving down, the Chiefs could get an additional pick in the second or third round as they work to surround superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes with young talent as he enters the prime of his career.”
As of now, the Chiefs remain the last team to pick in this year’s NFL Draft.