Chris Jones is not happy. The Pro Bowl defensive lineman is at a standstill on a new contract with the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. So much so, that he recently took to Twitter to hint at the idea of sitting out the entirety of the 2020 NFL season.
Not a great indication of Jones’ eagerness to remain in Missouri, considering this comes on the heels of him tweeting, “hope that they know that I love em but, all good things must come to an end….” in response to the Chiefs using the non-exclusive franchise tag on him back in March.
Kansas City and their star defender have until July 15th to reach a long-term deal. However, Jones has yet to sign the tag, which would in return pay him $16.1 million next season. That price tag should ring a bell for New York Giants fans, as it is the same salary Leonard Williams is currently set to make in 2020 under the team’s franchise tag.
Could Dave Gettleman dangle his “prized” mid-season acquisition from a season ago in a deal to acquire one of the league’s best hog mollies?
Examining a Leonard Williams for Chris Jones Trade
Big Blue’s defensive line is already widely considered as the strongest position group on their roster. However, let’s be honest, when has Dave Gettleman ever turned down the shot of bringing another hog molly on board?
Acquiring Jones would mean a significant financial commitment. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network has noted that Jones views himself as a “$20 million-plus-per-year guy,” and chances are he will eventually receive such compensation, whether it be with the Chiefs or elsewhere.
That kind of money may scare away some Giants faithful at first glance. However, when you take into consideration the money New York is preparing to dole out to Leonard Williams, you’ll likely quickly warm up to the idea.
Williams receives plenty of hate for his lack of sack production, yet, he’s a very solid football player for what he is. With that said, is he worth his $16-plus million price tag that comes along with the franchise tag? Likely not. Unforturently for the G-Men’s pockets, the belief is that should Williams and New York to come to an agreement on a long-term deal, his year-to-year salary would look very similar to the amount he is set to make under the tag, if not more.
Now, anyone in their right mind would opt for Chris Jones at a meager $4 million extra per season over Leonard Williams. However, the Chiefs may not have a choice, as their cap space is on the verge of taking a massive hit.
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Patrick Mahomes’ Looming Extension vs. NY’s Cap Space
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is expected to “shatter records” when it comes time for him to ink an extension with Kansas City, and rightfully so. While the team could wait until his rookie contract expires after the 2021 season, a payday of around $40 million per year is inevitable. This means that the Chiefs, who already own the 5th-lowest cap space in football, will undoubtedly need to cut corners at other positions on the roster.
The Giants, on the other hand, have their perceived franchise quarterback under contract on his rookie deal through 2023.
To further throw fuel on the idea of New York pursuing Jones, Big Blue is projected to have $48 million in cap space in 2021. That number has the potential to reach $68 million if they cut offensive tackle Nate Solder and wideout Golden Tate following this season, a very possible scenario.
Gettleman’s 2nd Chance to Get it Right
It will most certainly take more than just Williams to pry Jones away from Kansas City. The Chiefs will continue to attempt to come to an agreement with their star defender, as they should. However, if their progress remains stagnant, they’d be hard-pressed not to entertain a deal, especially if a high-end draft pick or two are included.
For Kansas City, if the deal was to go down, they would undoubtedly be taking a hit at the position. However, Williams is good enough to drastically soften the blow of losing Jones. Plus, if Williams opts to walk in free agency next season, K.C. would receive a 3rd-round compensatory pick on top of freeing up a fairly large amount of money to put towards Mahomes’ contract.
From the Giants perspective, landing Jones would mean landing the NFL’s best interior pass-rusher not named Aaron Donald. Jones has averaged more than 12 sacks per season since 2018, while The Giants have had just one player record double-digit sacks since 2014. Even more important, landing Jones would mean landing the type of player Gettleman thought he acquired when he traded for Williams at last season’s trade deadline.
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