The news media loves to ask questions of Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid — but often, they are questions Reid doesn’t want to answer. That is almost always true of questions relating to contract negotiations with a particular player.
Maybe it’s because Reid was once both the head coach and general manager for the Philadelphia Eagles and is now happy to be able to deflect some of the questions he’s asked. Or maybe it’s because he wants to be sure not to say anything publicly that could interfere with any negotiations that are taking place between a given player and Chiefs general manager Brett Veach.
Whatever the reason, Reid commonly pushes those questions away — most often responding with something like, “You’ll have to ask Brett about that,” or “I don’t get into that.”
That wasn’t the case during the opening press conference of Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri on Tuesday. In fact, Reid didn’t even wait for a question about the status of contract negotiations with the star defensive tackle.
Instead, he brought it up in his opening statement.
“And then, Chris Jones — [Chiefs public relations director] Ted [Crews] has given me the ‘hot topics’ here — so Chris Jones would be the other topic of interest, I’m sure,” Reid said as reporters chuckled over his “hot topic” list. “People have talked with Chris’ people, and there’s been communication there. We’ll just see whether he’s here or not here. We obviously want him here — I think he probably wants to be here, too. We’ll see how all of that works out.”
Reid was then pressed for more details.
“I’ve said this before — that if you miss days, you miss days. It’s just a unique situation — you know — we’ve had a change in defense and so on, so it’s probably beneficial to be here.”
Much of this is standard-issue Andy Reid. He has indeed often been quoted saying things like, “If you miss days, you miss days.” And it’s hardly an earth-shaking announcement that the Chiefs and Jones are talking about a new contract — except when they aren’t.
On June 11, we learned that the Chiefs’ position on Jones holdout through OTAs and minicamp was simply that they wouldn’t negotiate with Jones until he reported to the team’s required activities — which so far, Jones has declined to do. Then on July 15, we learned there had been “no progress” on a new contract extension for Jones, whose rookie deal expires at the end of the coming season.
So as little as Reid actually said, it sounds like the two sides are now talking to each other, which raises some hope that they can come to an agreement soon.
Will Chris Jones report to training camp with the rest of the Chiefs veterans on Friday?
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Not Friday, but before the season starts.
Not Friday — or ever.