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Chris Jones is a priority for Chiefs in free agency, per GM Brett Veach

Chiefs, Chris Jones

The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off of a Super Bowl championship, and a big reason for their success this past season was the improvement of their defense down the stretch.

At the center of the Chiefs’ defensive prosperity (which is certainly not something the Chiefs are known for) was defensive lineman Chris Jones, who has developed into one of the more dominant interior linemen in the NFL.

However, Jones is set to be a free agent this offseason, and some have wondered whether or not Kansas City, which will surely have to invest a lot of money into Patrick Mahomes and others in the near future, will be able to retain him.

The good news for the Chiefs is that the franchise tag is an option, and general manager Brett Veach said as much on Tuesday:

“The franchise tag is something we have the ability to use,” said Veach, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “We’d certainly like to work something out with him.”

Of course, slapping a tag on a player is not always an instant fix, as sometimes, players are largely opposed to it and would prefer that a long-term deal get done.

But it does seem pretty clear that Veach understands Jones and wants to keep him around for the long haul, so perhaps the two sides will be able to reach an agreement at some point this offseason.

Jones played in 13 games this past season, registering 36 tackles and nine sacks en route to his first Pro Bow appearance.

The 25-year-old, who entered the NFL as a second-round draft pick of Kansas City’s back in 2016, had a breakout year in 2018, racking up 40 tackles and 15.5 sacks.