Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones is likely to report to training camp on time.
“I’d be shocked if he held out one day of training camp,” CBS Sports salary cap expert Joel Corry told Pete Sweeney on the Arrowhead Pride Podcast Network.
This should be welcome news for Chiefs fans. Since Jones didn’t report to the voluntary offseason OTA program or the mandatory minicamp while his negotiations with the Chiefs for a new contract are stalled, there has been concern that his holdout could extend well into training camp. The first practice is July 24 at Missouri Western State College in St, Joseph, MO.
But in an article published Wednesday on CBSSports.com, Corry notes that Jones will have a big incentive to report to camp by August 6.
Any training camp holdout by Jones should be relatively brief. A year of service towards free agency (i.e.; an accrued season) isn’t earned when a player doesn’t report to his team at least 30 days prior to NFL’s first regular season game. The reporting deadline this year is Aug. 6.
This means that if Jones fails to report by the deadline, he will not become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) after his rookie contract expires next spring, because he needs at least four accrued seasons to become an UFA.
Instead, he will become a restricted free agent. That gives the Chiefs the ability to make four different kinds of RFA contract tenders for Jones, as SBNation’s Adam Stites laid out last spring:
First-round tender: Free agent can negotiate with other teams, but original team has option to match any deal and will receive a first-round selection if it opts not to match the deal.
Second-round tender: Free agent can negotiate with other teams, but original team has option to match any deal and will receive a second-round selection if it opts not to match the deal.
Original-round tender: Free agent can negotiate with other teams, but original team has option to match any deal and will receive a selection equal to the round the player was originally selected in if it opts not to match the deal.
Right of first refusal: Free agent can negotiate with other teams, but original team has option to match any deal. The team will not receive any compensation if it opts not to match another deal.
Should he become an RFA, the Chiefs would likely make a first-round contract tender to Jones, which OverTheCap.com estimates will be $4.7 million in 2020.
Jones’ camp is looking for a long-term, big-money deal. That’s just not what they’re going to get if he fails to report to camp by August 6.
“It doesn’t make sense to do so since you are going to be giving up $40,000 a day,” Corry added on the podcast. “You can’t hold out long anyway because of the accrued season problem.”
Those fines will add up quickly.
Now that the Chiefs have made it clear that they aren’t willing to negotiate with Jones unless he is taking part in team activities, we can probably expect him to report to camp with the rest of the team before July 24 — with or without a new contract.