Bears Pushed to Pursue Unhappy $80 Million All-Pro

Ryan Poles

Getty Bears general manager Ryan Poles has ties to the Chiefs and Chris Jones.

Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro Chris Jones would be a dream get for the Chicago Bears, and Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report thinks the team should pursue the disgruntled pass rusher.

Gagnon listed the Bears and the Dallas Cowboys, along with two of Chicago’s divisional rivals in the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, as the top teams who should try to trade for the four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman.

“The Chicago Bears would probably be a preferred trade partner for the Chiefs simply because they’re much less likely than Dallas to make a run in 2023,” Gagnon wrote on September 1. “That dynamic could potentially enable Chicago to land Jones for less than a first-round pick.”

It’s highly unlikely the Bears could add Jones without sending a first-rounder to Kansas City, but if Jones continues his holdout and doesn’t show up when Week 1 arrives, this could be something to monitor.

Bears Could Afford to Give Jones Money He Seeks

Jones, 29, did not attend the Chiefs’ training camp or team practices, as first reported by NFL insider Adam Schefter, and he has hinted on the social media platform X that he may carry his holdout into at least Week 8 of the regular season. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound defensive tackle signed a four-year, $80 million extension with K.C. back in 2020, and he’s looking to make around $30 million annually, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

“They’ve bolstered the roster substantially this offseason, and with plenty of draft and real-world capital they could be primed to explode after gelling in a final ‘rebuild year’ this fall,” Gagnon wrote about the Bears. “Consider this an early investment in the exact type of player they’d covet, and an immediate upgrade over Justin Jones—one of the weakest lines within that defense.”

The Bears are slated to have over $100 million in cap space in 2024, so there’s certainly room for an extension. Trouble is, Kansas City has no desire to let Jones go.

Bears Rumored to Have Called About Jones Already

Kansas City placed Jones on the Reserve/Did Not Report list during final roster cuts, so the veteran pass rusher won’t count as part of the team’s 53-man roster.

Jones earned a 92.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season, finishing third in voting for Defensive Player of the Year. In 17 games, Jones amassed 44 tackles (17 for loss), four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, a career-high 15.5 sacks, 50 hurries and 12 QB hits.

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder the Chiefs aren’t planning on trading him. “I think for all parties, I think the best resolution would be for him to end his career as a Chief,” Kansas City general manager Brett Veach said, via The Kansas City Star. “Hopefully, we get this resolved, but we have no intentions of making a trade.”

Chicago’s general manager Ryan Poles served various executive roles with the Chiefs over 12 years before coming to the Windy City in January 2022. It’s possible Poles could use his connections there to try and broker a deal. One analyst says Poles already tried.

On the August 24 episode of the Bet the Board podcast, Todd Fuhrman reported that the Bears “have called about Chris Jones because they want to be all in on Justin Fields’ rookie contract.”
Regardless, it would take a miracle to pry a pass rusher of Jones’ caliber away. The Chiefs aren’t about to let him walk unless they were to receive a significant boon.

But if Jones isn’t in uniform Week 1, don’t be surprised if the trade rumors get louder.