Chris Jones, Chiefs remain at contract impasse
The Kansas City Chiefs and defensive tackle Chris Jones appear at an impasse as it pertains to contract extension negotiations. Per James Palmer of the NFL Network, the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have played a role in the two sides being able to find common ground.
Jones is coming off of a 2019 campaign that saw Pro Bowl honors bestowed upon him for the first time in his four-year career. Despite playing in just 13 games, Jones accrued 20 quarterback hits, nine sacks, and eight tackles for a loss.
A stalwart of the Kansas City defense, the Chiefs are hopeful that placing the franchise tag on Jones (which they did on March 16) for the 2020 year will suffice. But with so much uncertainty surrounding the league due to the ongoing global pandemic, salary-cap figures remain in flux.
From Kansas City’s perspective, they also have to worry about the looming conundrum of securing a long-term contract for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, while continuing to fill out their roster at a Super Bowl-caliber level. Retaining Jones, who compiled 15.5 sacks in 2018 in just his third season, remains integral to that mix.
Without Jones, Kansas City would be pressed for a replacement on their defensive front. Derrick Nnadi currently projects to line up alongside Jones, but the experience behind that duo remains thin.
Presently, Kansas City is set to open the 2020 campaign against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10. Barring a holdout, Jones will suit up, although whether or not he does so with a long-term deal in his back pocket remains to be seen.