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Chiefs pass rusher Chris Jones’ holdout status remains uncertain

Chris Jones, Chiefs

As Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs set their eyes towards a Super Bowl, their talented young pass rusher, Chris Jones, is looking to get paid.

Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star claims that the 2016 second round pick will “likely” hold out for a contract extension, but according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a source with knowledge of the situation tells him that no final decision has been made, and that Jones and his representation are exploring all options.

Jones is due to make $1.19 million in 2019. He is listed as a defensive end, but often rushes the passer from an interior position. Jones has 24 sacks in three years, and last season, he racked up an impressive 15.5 sacks and had at least one per game for 11 straight games.

Jones stayed away from the Chiefs’ offseason program, including the mandatory minicamp. He has three years of service and sits one year away from free agency, meaning the August 6 deadline for reporting and gaining that fourth year of service becomes more important to Jones than a fourth-year player with two years left under contract.

Should Jones miss the August 6 deadline, he would be eligible for restricted free agency in 2020. He could then be picked up by a team willing to give up only one first-round pick as compensation, if the Chiefs apply the highest possible RFA tender. That could prompt the Chiefs to choose to instead use the franchise tag, which would put the compensation at a pair of first-round picks, if they don’t want to lose Jones.

In addition to his sack numbers, Jones also has 100 total tackles, six forced fumbles, 16 deflected passes, two interceptions, and a defensive touchdown, which came during Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Jones returned an interception from Blake Bortles 20 yards for a touchdown. Later in the same game, Jones was ejected for punching Andrew Norwell in his right thigh after an extra point attempt.