Just one day prior to the Kansas City Chiefs regular season opener against the Detroit Lions, All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones — who is holding out for a new deal — said if he signed a contract he would be ready to play in Thursday’s season opener.
But according to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, Jones won’t have a deal in place prior to the game.
“Perhaps the strongest outcome, according to league sources, is that Jones, the All-Pro defensive tackle, watches his teammates perform from a suite inside Arrowhead Stadium,” Taylor wrote on September 6 of Jones’ Week 1 status.
That’s unfortunate news for the Chiefs, who could also be without star tight end Travis Kelce, as he suffered a hyperextended knee during Tuesday’s practice and is questionable for the game. Kelce’s final determination could be decided during pre-game warm-ups. Inactive lists for the game must be submitted 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Chiefs Latest Offer to Chris Jones Revealed
Along with the likeliest outcome for Chris Jones in Week 1, Nate Taylor also revealed the details of Kansas City’s latest offer to Jones.
“According to a league source, the Chiefs last week offered Jones a two-year, fully guaranteed extension worth $54.5 million, which would pay him an average annual salary of $27.5 million in 2024 and 2025,” Taylor wrote.
That offer wasn’t accepted because Jones wants a deal that pays him $30 million annually, per Taylor. That would make him at least the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL. The top-paid defensive tackle in the league is Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald ($31.6 million annually, $65 million guaranteed), and the second-highest-paid is New York Jets’ Quinnen Williams ($24 million annually, $66 million guaranteed), according to Over the Cap.
Kansas City’s star defender has been holding out since the team’s mandatory minicamp in June. He is steadfast in getting the money he deservingly feels he should get.
The Chiefs’ front office, namely Brett Veach, has remained optimistic throughout the entire holdout that the two sides could agree on a deal. But Jones’ holdout has now bled into the regular season, when the impact of not having Chris Jones around the team will be felt during meaningful NFL games.
That’s not ideal for a Chiefs team trying to prove itself as a dynasty.
Luckily, the defending Super Bowl champions still have superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, so they should never be counted out, no matter the missing pieces around Mahomes. But not having Chris Jones on the field will make things much more difficult for Kansas City.
Twitter Reacts to Chris Jones Update
Users on Twitter — which was recently rebranded to “X” — reacted to Nate Taylor’s update on Chris Jones.
“Some of his teammates took less so Jones could be paid. Now he just wants to be greedy,” one user wrote. “Time to trade him & let him chase his greed elsewhere. Talk about ruining your legacy but let’s not forget, according to him our opinions ‘stink’. I really don’t care if he’s a Chief anymore.”
“So he can show up to the game stand on sideline in street clothes.. then what, does he continue not practicing? Then show up to watch games?? I’m confused and wouldn’t be surprised if he hears boo birds this has not been the smoothest hold out,” another user wrote.
“Something not discussed much is how his holdout is restricting the Chiefs from signing anybody else since I assume a new contract would free up cap space,” another user wrote.