Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s final words on defensive tackle Chris Jones before closing out the team’s mandatory minicamp were simple.
“Make sure you’re in shape,” said Reid of his communication with Jones, who skipped all of the team’s offseason programs.
Jones apparently heard the message from Reid, as evidenced by a video posted to his Instagram account over the weekend (no Threads from Jones, at least yet).
The video shows clips of the 29-year-old working through drills on the field and lifting weights in a small gym. It’s set to the song, “Demand My Respect” by Kodak Black.
“You heard me...” writes Jones in a caption.
The first-team All-Pro defensive tackle — who is entering the final year of a four-year contract with the Chiefs — is currently seeking a long-term extension. The process could be held up by the New York Jets’ talks with defensive tackle Quinnen Willaims, who is reportedly after a new deal in the range of $25 million to $35 million a season.
Whatever the number the Jets and Williams come up with would likely serve as a baseline in Jones’ representatives and their talks with the Chiefs. Jones — who league decision-makers rank better than Williams — could be waiting for that first domino to fall.
Some have theorized that Williams could sign and then Jones could sign — which would open cap space for Kansas City. The Chiefs could then presumably use that space to acquire wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. At the time of this writing, New England and Tennessee seem to be the favorites for Hopkins' services, but he remains a free agent.
Regarding Jones, general manager Brett Veach sounded optimistic in his final chat with the media ahead of the Super Bowl LVII ring ceremony.
“We have a long history together, and we have a great relationship with his agents,” said Veach. “These things usually get worked out right before or right during the start of camp. We anticipate the same — and we’ll see how it goes.”
Chiefs quarterbacks and rookies are expected to report to St. Joseph for training camp on Tuesday, July 18; Jones and other veterans are expected to report a few days later.