At the start of the week, there was a feeling that when the Kansas City Chiefs took Thursday off from training camp, it might provide a window for the club and defensive tackle Chris Jones to resume communication.
The 29-year-old first-team All-Pro is currently in the midst of a holdout as he seeks a contract extension. Counting report day, Jones has now missed six days and five practices. Contrary to expectations, the defensive tackle has not been motivated to come to St. Joseph — even as $50,000 daily fines pile up.
On July 23, head coach Andy Reid said he was surprised he didn’t see Jones on report day while also implying that talks between the two sides had come to a halt. On Friday, Reid was asked for an update on the situation.
The head coach revealed he hadn’t talked to Jones — and had no indication about when his star defensive lineman would end the holdout.
“We’re moving fast and furious — even though he’s not here,” said Reid.
The magic number that has emerged in recent days is $30 million per year — and it’s one the defensive tackle and his team apparently will not budge on. For comparison’s sake, the New York Jets recently signed defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to a four-year, $96 million deal ($24 million per year) and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald makes $31.7 million per year.
Jones has suggested he is still working out and staying in shape, writing, “We still working...” as a caption to his latest Instagram post. He also has the option to show up to camp but not participate in practice — like what is happening with Minnesota Vikings’ star pass rusher Danielle Hunter.
In the meantime, Jones’ defensive teammates have given him his space — while they continue to focus on the task at hand.
“He’s a professional. Let him do his thing,” said safety Justin Reid last Sunday. “I’m focused on the guys here, taking care of the DB room, making sure that our young guys are ready to play.”
Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. weighed in on Friday.
“We been rolling, I ain’t going to lie to you,” declared Gay. “Of course, we all know Chris Jones. I ain’t going to get into it. We’ve been rolling. With him, of course, we’ll be a great defense, but while we here, and while things are the way they are, we’re going to ball out.”
Gay hopes to eventually see Jones back with the team.
“[We want to] add a big piece that we hope to have,” he said, before reinstilling their current mindset. “We can’t be out here thinking, ‘Hey I wish Chris was here.’
“We just have to handle things the way they are and roll with it.”
You can find my complete observations from Friday’s practice here.
Post-practice chat and press conferences
- Did not practice (due to injury): LB Isaiah Moore (knee injured on 7/25), WR Kadarius Toney (knee injured on 7/23)
- Limited: RB Isiah Pacheco (hand, labrum)
- Left practice early: DE Mike Danna (calf), TE Jody Fortson (right shoulder), LB Drue Tranquill (neck)
- Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: DT Tershawn Wharton (ACL)
- Returned to practice: LB Nick Bolton (illness)
Tweet of the day
Never forget the “Magnificent Seven”
Quote of the day
Chiefs safety Bryan Cook on he and cornerback Dicaprio Bootle’s special moment with tight end Travis Kelce on Saturday: “It was kind of nice for me to get in a scuffle, a little bit. ‘I see you Kelce!’ Get a little fire into it.”
The Chiefs return to the practice field on Saturday morning for their sixth full-team practice of training camp. The workout begins at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub will address the media following the practice as the entire team signs autographs. There is a $5 admission fee on Saturday. Here’s the complete 2023 training camp schedule.