A month and a half shy of the deadline, there has been “not much traction on the contract front” for Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, according to a new report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. News that the Chiefs would franchise tag Jones first emerged on February 27.
While Chris Jones hasn't signed his franchise tender, he's kept in touch with the Chiefs as they hold virtual meetings, I'm told. Not much traction on contract front but both sides have until July 15. Market for high-end DTs is $20-plus-million per year.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 28, 2020
The last official word from the Chiefs on Jones came from head coach Andy Reid earlier this month, as he explained the two sides — both the Chiefs and Jones’ representation — have remained in consistent contact.
“I always look at communication,” said the head coach. “As long as there’s talk between the parties, I’m good with that. I have full trust in Brett Veach and his crew – (director of football administration) Brandt Tilis and (football operations counsel) Chris Shea. They stay on top of that. Then I think Chris’ representation has done a nice job of keeping it open too.
“We understand, I think in this league, that these bigger deals take a little time. Now Chris has got a time restriction on his, but they do take time. You’ve got to massage through the thing and work it out and talk — and that’s what they’re doing. I’m sure it will all work out in the end.”
During the Chiefs’ in-house schedule release show, Reid mentioned Kansas City had 100% participation for its virtual meetings.
Jones’ position coach, Brendan Daly, had little update when he spoke to the media via Zoom conference call on Thursday.
“Chris and I have had a great relationship,” Daly said. “I’ve had a couple conversations with him over the course of the offseason here. I’m not going to get into the details of that.
“Honestly, he’s got his contract situation going on, and I trust that Brett Veach and his staff are handling that side of things and I just kind of leave it there.”
CBS Sports NFL cap analyst Joel Corry noted in early April that 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.
“We’ve had a lot of discussion with Chris and the Katz brothers (Jones’ agents), and we continue to have that,” said Veach in mid-April. “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.”
As we have written before, if Jones were to play on the tag, he would make $16.1 million for 2020. The next date to watch is July 15.