After months of subliminal messages, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones made his point pretty clear Tuesday night. In a series of tweets, the Super Bowl champion suggested that he’ll sit out the season if he and the team fail to agree to a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.
Or I won’t play. @LeVeonBell told me about this
— Chris Jones (@StoneColdJones) July 1, 2020
Earlier in the day, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the 25-year-old has “always viewed himself as a $20 million-plus” per-year player. Unfortunately, the Chiefs front office don’t share the same sentiment, hence the team’s stubbornness to finalize an extension. The analyst also continued by saying there’s “a lot of work to be done,” to reach the magic number and he’s not confident Jones will be back at Arrowhead Stadium next year.
A member of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time, Le’Veon Bell sat out the entire 2018 season after he and Pittsburgh couldn’t reach their own agreement for the second offseason in a row.
Jones’ tweet caught Bell’s attention. Shortly after, the New York Jets running back had a response of his own and praised Jones for standing his ground.
lol no silly…I just know what my worth is, & how to read and understand contracts…obviously people like you never seen an NFL contract or been in the NFL, so you will NEVER understand…& I’m content with that! @StoneColdJones knows what he doin, trust https://t.co/etJw8Puozc
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) July 1, 2020
What’s understood don’t have to be explained… https://t.co/4IBh0ZvNrU
— Chris Jones (@StoneColdJones) July 1, 2020
Should Jones decide he’ll ultimately play under the franchise tag, the former Mississippi State star will earn 16.1 million this upcoming season.
Chiefs Kingdom Reacts to Jones’ Ultimatum
It didn’t take long for Chiefs Kingdom to fire off some responses of their own. While some could understand why Jones would rather play for a team willing to open their pocketbooks, other pleaded with the sack leader to stay one more season to buy Kansas City more time.
This is how much Chris Jones has made so far in his NFL career. He hasn’t made enough to say “Nah I’m cool” to a guaranteed $16M. pic.twitter.com/rxohpkYDdz
— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) July 1, 2020
Chris Jones is cheaper to tag two years in a row than to give him a long term deal. I still think he has earned a new deal but you could still have him this season, tag him again and look to trade him around draft time next year https://t.co/ytlGKsaf1k
— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) July 1, 2020
Chris Jones is looking out for himself and the future of his family. If that makes you mad, you have all of your priorities mixed up. Chiefs Kingdom is with you bro @StoneColdJones pic.twitter.com/Xi60epkVMC
— 𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙤𝙧 ⁴⁰² (@MahomesToKelce) July 1, 2020
Me thinking about Chris Jones not playing next year pic.twitter.com/wE5QHzVWD9
— Catch me in Cornteen (@SpikyFIoof) July 1, 2020
For those misguided #Chiefs fans, who are ready to blame Patrick Mahomes pending contract as the reason Chris Jones might not get signed is crazy talk. Jones contract in flux because Veach isn't going to be pay him $20M per year. Choice is Simple: More SB Rings/HOF or MONEY?
— Chiefs Insider (@ChiefsInsider) July 1, 2020
Jones recorded 31 sacks his last three seasons at Arrowhead Stadium. Last year alone, the Mississippi native tallied nine sacks and deflected three passes in Super Bowl LIV to help Kansas City bing home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in 50 years. He also made it to his first Pro Bowl in 2019.
Veach Called the Jones Situation a ‘Unique Environment’ in April
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach claimed he had conversations with Jones’ team ahead of April’s NFL Draft. At the time, the 41-year-old attributed the free agency as a reason why the extension would take some time to work out the details.
“We’ve had a lot of discussion with Chris and the Katz brothers (Jones’ agents), and we continue to have that. 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.
“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.”
With two weeks left, let’s hope Veach is a man of his word.