On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid could provide little information about star defensive tackle Chris Jones’ contract holdout, which has now extended through the team’s mandatory minicamp in June and 19 days of the team’s training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.
But in an ESPN story published by Chiefs beat reporter Adam Teicher on Monday, the man responsible for the team’s negotiations with Jones confirmed that talks are underway, denied there is any plan to trade the seven-year veteran — but beyond that, gave few specifics.
“When it gets done? I can’t answer that,’’ said Chiefs general manager Brett Veach of Jones’ extension. “There’s no thought or mindset to trade or anything like that. Our intention is to get something done.
“We aren’t there yet. The first game isn’t until September 7, so that’s a positive for us. Chris has played in this scheme now for a few years and he does a great job of staying in shape.
“We’ll continue to keep plugging away and hopefully we get something done.’’
Jones is seeking an extension to his existing four-year contract, which lasts through the coming season. Rumors have suggested that Jones is seeking a deal worth $30 million in average annual value (AAV), which would be significantly more than the recently-negotiated benchmark deal for New York Jets’ pass rusher Quinnen Williams, which will pay him $24 million in AAV — but less than the $31.7 million AAV deal Aaron Donald signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018.
While Veach gave us no information about specific offers and counter-offers being exchanged between the two camps, his statement pushed back on two recent narratives: one, that the Chiefs aren’t even talking to Jones — or two, that the team intends to trade him. While things can always change, neither of those narratives now appears to be true; Kansas City is actively working on getting an extension done for its defensive star.
Toney and Pacheco
Veach also hinted pretty strongly that two injured players — wide receiver Kadarius Toney and running back Isiah Pacheco — will both be ready for the team’s regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, September 7.
“Organizationally, we feel pretty good those guys will be ready to play, barring no setbacks,’’ he said. “I think we’re in a good place with both of those guys.’’
Veach didn’t say how recently he had consulted with the team’s trainers and medical personnel with regard to the condition of either player — which could have gone a long way toward evaluating the potential accuracy of his predictions.
Toney is recovering from surgery for a partially torn meniscus. He has been absent from practice since sustaining the injury in the first few minutes of training camp’s opening practice. In his own analysis, our Dakota Watson concluded that while it’s possible for Toney to be ready to play in Week 1, it would be a speedy recovery.
With regard to Pacheco, however, we have more confidence in Veach’s forecast.
The second-year player is recovering from a broken hand and a torn labrum, which are injuries he sustained during 2022’s postseason games. He’s already practicing with the team but is wearing a yellow “do not touch” jersey like quarterbacks wear. The running back is aching to be a full participant in practice — he played in Super Bowl LVII while suffering from both injuries — but is not expected to be cleared for full contact until August 20.