Former Indiana Hoosiers linebacker Cam Jones did not hear his name called during last month’s NFL Draft.
But the three-season team captain received a nice consolation prize: the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs offered him a nice payday as an undrafted free agent.
Indiana linebacker Cam Jones to #Chiefs for $150,000 guaranteed, per a league source @KPRC2— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 30, 2023
He knows it is an opportunity other players would love to have.
“It meant a lot,” Jones said of the Chiefs’ offer on Monday — the final day of the team’s rookie minicamp. “It actually meant the world. I think a lot of people look at my situation and want to be in my shoes. I’ve just got to attack it every day — give 110% every day and make the best of it. It’s a great opportunity — and I’m ready to go.”
With the extra year of eligibility afforded by the coronavirus pandemic, Jones played five seasons at Indiana. Over that half-decade, the Hoosiers won only 25 games. The opportunity to join a Super Bowl contender is not lost on him.
“It’s a great opportunity — looking at what the Chiefs did over the past couple of years,” he observed. “Why not come be a part of greatness? I think I fit the type of coaching style that they have and overall players. I think it’s a great fit.”
Playing in Kansas City also gives him a chance to round out a very young (and talented) linebacker group featuring Nick Bolton, Willie Gay Jr. and Leo Chenal — and now including former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquil.
“I know those guys,” said Jones. “They all have something to give. For me being a young guy coming in, I have to learn to put that into part of my game. You just learn as a player.”
Jones and his fellow rookies had their first taste of professional football over the weekend. He feels that the time with Chiefs linebackers coach Brendan Daly will serve him well as he works to make the team.
“It was great,” he declared. “It was a great weekend — I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Working with Coach Daly, I think that he put a lot on our plate as linebackers. But a linebacker is the quarterback of the defense; you wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I know we’ve got a good amount of plays [and] a lot of details that can help us for the next phase of practice.”
Though the Chiefs have invested heavily in his position, Jones believes he can add to the room.
“To be a linebacker,” he explained, “you’ve got to be able to make those unfelt adjustments. You don’t have a lot of time to go to the sidelines and make those adjustments.
“I think that I’m a player that gives — a player that’s a leader on the field and able to control the defense — and overall just make plays when needed.
“I think the scheme of the Kansas City Chiefs gives me the opportunity to make those plays.”