Chris Jones and the Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly discussing the terms of a contract extension for the first time since March. Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk cited Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, who reported on Saturday that talks had officially begun again.
Fowler said the team had been looking to get a deal done with quarterback Patrick Mahomes before talking hard numbers with Jones. The Chiefs did finally get that deal with their QB done last week, allowing them now to focus on the defensive star.
Fowler added that the team isn't just entering talks to look like they tried. They would legitimately like to get an extension with Jones. He's considered a top three player at his position in the NFL. The issue is that an expected home town discount hasn't materialized.
Fowler said Jones could cost well over $20 million per year. With minimal salary cap space, it's reportedly hard for analysts to predict where these talks could go. If he isn't signed to an extension, he would play the 2020 season under a one year contract that would pay him just over $16 million.Smith pointed out that one major issue is that Jones has threatened to hold out if an extension agreement isn't formulated. This season could be the second straight year the defensive lineman has played under the franchise tag. He also threatened to hold out in 2019 if he didn't get a longer contract, but in the end, he reported to camp and played out the season. He's reportedly said he wouldn't do that again.
Adding to the speculation that he's serious about sitting out this season is the fact that he's said he's talked to New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell. Bell held out for the entire 2018 season after being franchise-tagged by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He eventually signed with the Jets in 2019.
After reports that Jones and the Chiefs were talking, he issued a couple of posts on Twitter that had some fans wondering if he wasn't hinting that things were going well at the outset.About three hours after he posted about his vibes, he issued a simple message that was taken by many as a positive sign. Even if Jones' posts are hinting that he believes the reported new contract talks are going well, the two sides are under a strict deadline. If an extension agreement can't be reached by July 15, Jones will have to play the 2020 season under the terms of his franchise tag.