On Tuesday, rookies and quarterbacks reported to the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.
But many minds are focused on a Chiefs player who isn’t scheduled to report until veteran players check in on Friday: defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is entering the final year of his contract after turning in the first All-Pro season of his seven-year NFL career.
The 29-year-old Jones and Kansas City general manager Brett Veach are presumed to be working on a contract extension that will tie him to the Chiefs for another few years — perhaps as far as the end of his career. It is considered likely that until a deal is agreed upon, Jones will not report to training camp.
Last week, the New York Jets signed defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to a four-year contract worth $96 million — which has been thought to be the contract that Jones and the Chiefs would use as a reference point in their negotiations.
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, head coach Andy Reid — who typically defers all such questions to Veach — was non-committal about the possibility Jones will be in camp this weekend.
“I don’t know that,” said Reid. “I’ll just have to see how that goes. I mean, there’s communication going on. That’s the important part. Then we just have to see.”
But earlier in the media session — while speaking of the leadership of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce — Reid had talked as if he fully expects Jones to be in the mix eventually.
“He’s going to continue to be one of the leaders of the team,” he said of Mahomes, “and you saw that with Kelce. You’ll add Chris Jones in here somewhere as things go on. He’ll be another one that helps step things up. But we’ve got a variety of young guys [who’ve] got great personalities. I’m expecting them to continue to grow in that area, too.”