Friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor is reporting that Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones has not been present at team offseason workouts since April 15, when the offseason program began.
The 24-year-old Jones is entering the final year of his rookie contract and should be due for an extension given his 2018 output: a team-leading 15.5 sacks, 29 quarterback hits, 40 tackles (35 solo), five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one interception for a touchdown.
An NFL Network report calling Jones one of the Chiefs’ offseason priorities came through back in mid-January. It is worth noting that at the time, the network considered both Tyreek Hill and Dee Ford additional priorities for the Chiefs.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid last spoke about Jones on April 15.
“The one neat thing that Chris (Jones) did last year was move around a little bit, which I think will help him, because he can play outside, or he can play inside,” he said of Jones fitting in Steve Spagunuolo’s new 4-3 defense. “I think he is going to be OK there. It was 70 or 75 percent of the time he was asked to do that four-man front. I think he will be OK.”
As Paylor notes in his report, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spoke about Jones teaming with Frank Clark along the defensive line in Clark’s introductory press conference on Friday.
“You have to win these games in the trenches — you have to have a great o-line and a great defensive line,” Veach said. “We feel really good about our defensive line.”
The Chiefs wrapped up phase one of the offseason last week. Phase two consists of the next three weeks of the program—on-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted during phase two.
Phase three workouts (OTAs) begin May 21. During phase three, teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity. No live contact is permitted, but seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.
The entire offseason program is voluntary until June 11, when the Chiefs begin a three-day mandatory minicamp.
As it stands, Jones is due to make a $1.19 million base salary in 2019, according to Over the Cap. Over the Cap also estimates the Chiefs currently have $17.86 million in cap room for 2019.
Reid is scheduled to speak to media members Saturday ahead of rookie minicamp, but he has historically avoided commenting on missing players by citing the workouts being labeled as voluntary.