Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones said he is prepared to take his contract holdout into Week 8 of the regular season. General manager Brett Veach expressed optimism that the situation would be resolved soon. He even said that he is hopeful to have Jones in uniform and on the field for the season opener against the Detroit Lions.
With Jones still away from the team and the opener drawing nearer, however, fans are getting restless.
“Losing a lot of respect for ya,” a disgruntled fan tweeted on August 31, tagging Jones.
“Fall in line,” Jones tweeted back.
Chris Jones Claps Back at Criticism Amid Chiefs Holdout
Travis Kelce ‘Bargaining’ With Chris Jones
These types of messages aren’t at all uncommon for players to receive, especially on social media. But this one, in particular, drew a response from the four-time Pro Bowler. Jones previously assured the Arrowhead Live account that he could afford the fines he incurs while holding out.
Jones is said to be seeking a contract that will pay him $30 million annually but the Chiefs have so far been unwilling to accommodate him, going so far as to add defensive line help in preparation for Jones’ extended absence to go on. But teammates have even gotten involved with Travis Kelce sending a heartfelt plea out to his two-time Super Bowl-winning teammate.
“Chris, can you please come back? You’re really scaring me, man,” Travis Kelce said on “New Heights” on August 31. “I really want to win another Super Bowl ring with you, brother. … Please, we need you.”
— NFL (@NFL) January 31, 2023
Jones’ 15.5 sacks were the fifth-most in the NFL last season, and his 65.5 sacks since entering the league in 2016 are the fourth-most in the league. He is also versatile lining up inside and outside and doing so while playing in either front in his career.
His 92.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus tied for the second-highest among all defenders last season.
Kansas City is 4-3 without Jones since 2016 but an overwhelming 82-25 when he plays.
Brett Veach Optimistic on Chris Jones’ Return
“We have been in communication and actually, in just the last few days, we’ve been in more communication, Veach said via KHSB 41 on August 30. “So we’re going to continue to press on and work hard, and a lot of respect on both sides of this thing. It’s been, obviously, well-stated how we feel about Chris, and he feels the same way. We’re just going to keep working on this thing.”
Veach said he hopes Jones is “in the lineup and ready to go” on September 7.
That may be optimistic considering the one-time All-Pro has missed the entire offseason program and preseason. But it would surely bolster the Chiefs’ hopes of being the NFL’s first repeat champions since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004.
Jones was set to count for $29.4 million against the Chiefs’ salary cap before they placed him on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. Getting him back on a new deal would help them free up some much-needed cap space too.
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