Chiefs Rival Pushed to ‘Make a Splash’ & Steal Chris Jones

Bengals pushed to make a splash and steal Chris Jones from Chiefs.

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs must do everything in their power to lock up Chris Jones ahead of NFL free agency.

Chris Jones has made it clear that he would like to play for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2024 and beyond — and KC general manager Brett Veach would be wise to work something out with the game-wrecker before he hits the open market.

It’s safe to say that Jones will have a long list of potential suitors in NFL free agency. As we know, competition drives up price and at the very least, the Chiefs might have to pay a lot more if they’re caught in a bidding war with a serious buyer.

Teams like the Houston Texans and Las Vegas Raiders have already been linked to Jones by the NFL oddsmakers, but another AFC rival was urged to go all-in on the impact defender on February 17. USA Today Bengals Wire writer Chris Roling called upon the Cincinnati Bengals to “make a splash” for Jones if he reaches free agency.

“The non-Trey Hendrickson parts of the defensive line struggled as the season continued and exposed a rebuilt, young secondary,” Roling reasoned. “Even worse, interior defender DJ Reader, besides himself being a free agent, went down with the second torn quad of his career and is on an unknown recovery timetable.”

“The Bengals know better than most what a game-altering player Jones can be, so regardless of the steep price and fact he’s going on 30 years old, he should rank near the top of their outside free agents list,” the columnist concluded. Calling this “a win-now move for a team trying to keep the contention window as wide as possible before Joe Burrow’s extension cap hit escalates in 2025.”

A Jones signing wouldn’t be the first time Cincinnati targeted a Chiefs free agent either. The AFC challenger appeared intent on stealing away left tackle Orlando Brown last spring.

Chiefs Cannot Allow Rivals to Bid on Chris Jones

It’s no secret — the Chiefs are the team to beat in the NFL right now. That means everyone will be looking at different ways to get past Kansas City, and one obvious way to take them down is to steal away one of their best three players.

Maybe it hasn’t worked out for the Miami Dolphins and Tyreek Hill, but Jones on the Bengals is a whole different animal. Cincy has already knocked off the Chiefs in the playoffs, and that was with Jones in KC.

The Bengals also have enough cap space to franchise tag star wide receiver Tee Higgins and key pieces like Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are still under contract. They’re a real threat to the three-peat, and a motivated Chris Jones signing there wouldn’t help Kansas City’s chances.

Regarding Jones’ next team, it’s not just an all-in Cincinnati that the Chiefs have to worry about. It’s the Raiders, Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos and just about any NFC contender that decides to make a play for the superstar defender.

As mentioned in the open, Veach must do everything in his power to extend Jones ahead of free agency. Allowing KC rivals to bid on the big-money free agent could change everything, and being forced into using an exorbitant franchise tag could blow up the entire offseason.

Chiefs Still Being Predicted to Retain Chris Jones

ESPN insider Dan Graziano predicted that the Chiefs would re-sign Jones during an NFL staff article on February 16.

“I know, boring, right?” Graziano teased after making his prediction. “This is supposed to be some big-splash relocation idea. But after watching the Super Bowl and being reminded that Jones is the Chiefs’ second-most-important player, I can’t help but think they need to find a way to keep him there his whole career.”

“I’m never going to tell a guy not to go get his money, and if Jones wants to max out on this contract and go somewhere else to do it, good for him,” the analyst continued. “But he’s playing at a Hall of Fame caliber in Kansas City, and it’d be good if the Chiefs and Jones could find a way to keep it going.”

Similarly, ESPN staff writer Matt Bowen called KC the “best team fit” for Jones on February 20.

“A staple of the Chiefs’ defensive front, I could see Jones returning to Kansas City on a multiyear deal despite Kansas City’s tight cap space,” Bowen explained. “Jones is a game-wrecking talent, with the pass rush versatility to rush inside or outside in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system. He had 10.5 sacks this season and made an impact in critical moments in the Super Bowl.”

As you can see, the experts still believe that Jones will remain a Chief at this time. Of course, that opinion might start to change as we creep closer and closer to free agency.