Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach provided an update on where things stand with franchise-tagged defensive tackle Chris Jones during his pre-draft press conference with the Kansas City media on Thursday.
News that the Chiefs would tag Jones first emerged on February 27.
“We’ve had a lot of discussion with Chris and the Katz brothers (Jones’ agents), and we continue to have that,” said Veach. “We’ve got a lot of time, certainly these are — it’s a unique environment in which we’re working with, and we were able to kind of navigate the free agency period and retain some guys. We’re going to work through the draft and we’re going to continue dialogue. But we know how talented Chris is, and I think the franchise tag speaks for it, and we also have a lot of time.”
If Jones were to play on the tag, he would make $16.1 million for 2020.
“I think the deadline to get a deal done is July 15,” added Veach, “so there’s a lot of time to continue the dialogue and to work on something with Chris. We certainly are going to work to maintain him not just for next year, but for the future.”
As CBS Sports NFL cap analyst Joel Corry noted last week, the Indianapolis Colts’ deal for DeForest Buckner “complicated matters” for the Chiefs. Buckner’s deal was an $84 million extension averaging $21 million per year, including $56.4 million in guarantees and $39.4 million fully guaranteed at his signing.
Jones’ representatives are now likely seeking something similar for their client as the Chiefs weigh their options — they could insist Jones plays on the tag, trade his rights to another team if that team is willing to extend him to his liking or meet somewhere in the middle to retain Jones for the foreseeable future.
As of Thursday, Veach made it sound like all avenues are still on the table.
The Chris Jones timeline
- February 27: Chiefs will franchise tag defensive tackle Chris Jones
- February 27: Chris Jones reacts to Chiefs opting to use franchise tag
- March 26: How the Chiefs could structure a new contract for Chris Jones
- April 2: The latest from Andy Reid on Chris Jones and Sammy Watkins
- April 9: Time is short to resolve the situation with defensive tackle Chris Jones
Where will Chris Jones play in 2020?
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Kansas City on a new deal
Kansas City on the franchise tag