The Kansas City Chiefs officially franchise tagged defensive tackle Chris Jones March 16, buying themselves extra time to reach a long-term extension. According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, however, no further negotiations have occurred since that day.
More info on the #Chiefs & DT Chris Jones: The reason “not much traction” has been made on contract talks is because no negotiations or discussions have occurred since the tag. Jones has not participated and will continue to not participate in any OTAs — virtual or otherwise. https://t.co/vAz1uwBj7E
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 29, 2020
That’s quite a statement for Rapoport to make, considering quarterback Patrick Mahomes confirmed the team was “back together” earlier this week.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) May 26, 2020
It’s important we mention that the virtual offseason program, which was just extended for an additional two weeks, is not something NFL executives have mandated. That being said, the 25-year-old won’t face any consequences for declining to participate. Nonetheless, Jones’ absence does not bode well as contract talks continue.
An Earlier Update Didn’t Bode Well, Either
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler disclosed that “not much traction” had been done to keep the Mississippi State man at Arrowhead for their title defense campaign.
While Chris Jones hasn't signed his franchise tender, he's kept in touch with the Chiefs as they hold virtual meetings, I'm told. Not much traction on contract front but both sides have until July 15. Market for high-end DTs is $20-plus-million per year.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 28, 2020
That being said, head coach Andy Reid did say earlier this month he had full confidence that general manager Brett Veach would make the right the decision and these negotiations do “take time.”
“I always look at communication. As long as there’s talk between the parties, I’m good with that. I have full trust in Brett Veach and his crew – (director of football administration) Brandt Tilis and (football operations counsel) Chris Shea. They stay on top of that. Then I think Chris’ representation has done a nice job of keeping it open too.
“We understand, I think in this league, that these bigger deals take a little time. Now Chris has got a time restriction on his, but they do take time. You’ve got to massage through the thing and work it out and talk — and that’s what they’re doing. I’m sure it will all work out in the end.”
Jones Opened up About the Inactivity in March
In four seasons with the reigning champions, Jones recorded 33 sacks and seven forced fumbles, earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2019. Days before Kansas City franchise-tagged him, Jones appeared to be already one foot out the door. Here’s what he tweeted in March:
“ hope that they know that I love em but, all good things must come to an end”….@iamkevingates
— Chris Jones (@StoneColdJones) March 13, 2020
Back then, Chiefs Kingdom didn’t want Jones to depart. Nearly three months later, that sentiment still remains true.
They have a tough situation on their hands but Chris Jones deserves a massive pay day. Dude is a beast. Mahomes obviously is priority #1 but Chris is hella important https://t.co/zNDx5d2hSi
— ICE (@Makyle_Ice) May 29, 2020
Although it’s still very unclear what his future holds, Jones has been a pivotal part of Kansas City’s success and of course, will definitely be impossible to replace.