Chiefs’ Chris Jones Suggests Impactful NFL Rule Change

Chris Jones, roughing the passer NFL rule change

Getty Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones would like to work on a solution for the roughing the passer inconsistencies.

Inconsistent officiating has created a “roughing the passer” issue around the NFL, and few have been more vocal about coming up with a solution than Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones.

On November 16, the game-wrecker pitched a simple-but-impactful rule change during an interview with The Rich Eisen Show.

“Listen, I’ve been voicing my opinion about this roughing the passer [rule] for the longest,” Jones noted, adding: “I definitely think it’s something that the NFLPA should look into bringing replay into it.”

“Plays like that happen so fast,” the Chiefs team leader reasoned, “and [for] the referee it’s like, they’ve got to make decisions [in] a split-second. They don’t have time to dissect whether [a defender] put both hands down, or did his body land on him.”

Jones concluded that these bang-bang decisions can be “misconstrued” when trusting the eye in real-time.

Roughing the Passer Calls Are Important Enough for Chris Jones’ Instant Replay Plan

No one wants more stoppages and commercial breaks, but no one wants to lose a game on a bad call either.

Roughing the passer penalties tend to be influential. Not only do they extend drives with an automatic first down, but they’re also worth 15 yards for the offense.

When you factor in that most sacks result in a loss of yardage, this flag is typically a 15-to-25-yard swing and a major momentum changer.

Considering the importance, these decisions are definitely worthy of instant replay. At the very least, the NFL could allow head coaches to challenge a roughing the passer penalty — should an obviously controversial call arise.

Chris Jones Addresses ‘Costly Penalty’ vs. Dolphins

When the Chiefs faced the Miami Dolphins in Germany, Jones was flagged for an integral “unnecessary roughness” penalty.

It occurred on a third and 20 from the KC 37-yard line. The Dolphins came up well short of a first down, but Jones gifted Miami an automatic first down by shoving an offensive lineman after the whistle.

One play later, Raheem Mostert ran the ball 13 yards for a touchdown.

“We would have been off the field if I wouldn’t have made the penalty, so [defensive line coach Joe Cullen] emphasized that,” Jones admitted during his Week 11 press conference on November 16.

“It was a costly penalty,” he acknowledged. “I think they scored on the [next] play also. That was seven out of 14 points so, I understand, but it was a heat of the moment thing [and] I got hit after the play.”

“What can I say? It’s part of the game,” Jones stated to finish the thought.

It’s not the first time that the big-name disruptor has been flagged for a needless penalty, but Jones’ positive impact far outweighs any negatives on the field.

NFL Insider Says Chris Jones Could Make $30 Million Per Year in 2024

During an ESPN article looking ahead to 2024 free agency, NFL insider Jeremy Fowler discussed Jones’ potential value next spring.

“After talking to several people around the league about Jones, the feeling is he could flirt with the $30 million-per-year threshold on a new deal,” Fowler reported on November 15. “He’s the closest thing to Aaron Donald and has prime years left, turning 30 in July.”

Kansas City certainly isn’t known for shelling out huge money on players — although Jones is more irreplaceable than most. The franchise tag isn’t really an option either, according to Fowler.

“The Chiefs likely can’t afford to tag Jones; that would be worth 120% of his current $26.8 million cap hit, which works out to be more than $32 million,” he noted.

This will undoubtedly be the most important decision of the offseason for general manager Brett Veach and company.