Appearing at a Ronald McDonald House Charities event on Wednesday, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones — who is currently holding out from his 2023 contract as he seeks an extension — spoke to reporters about the situation.
“We can’t really talk about it,” said Jones of the contract negotiations. “Hopefully, it gets worked out. You know, it’s always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I’ve said that multiple times on social media platforms [and] from interviews. They know where my position is at — and hopefully, we can get something worked out for the long term.”
Jones said that he has been working out twice a day during the holdout, in which he has given up a $500,000 workout bonus and more than $2.3 million in fines— not to mention a $1.08 million game check for failing to report before the team’s season opener in Kansas City on Thursday night.
He said he chose to hold “out” rather than hold “in” so as to not be a distraction for the club.
“I could have been a hold-in, but that’s even more of a distraction,” Jones, who has been spending his time training in Miami, said. “I’d be there holding in while the guys are there, you know what I mean? Just a bigger distraction.”
Several Chiefs players have been quoted as saying they have remained in contact with Jones during his holdout.
“I’ve been keeping in contact with my teammates,” he confirmed. “I’m still working out every day. I’m still doing similar things that they do in training camp.
“[But I miss] the camaraderie. You know, we got a lot of new players; [I] miss that aspect of it — but I’ll be ready to go when that time falls.”
Jones vehemently denied a reporter’s suggestion that by holding out, he was letting his teammates down.
“How? That’s what I’ve got to ask,” he replied. “How have I let them down? [It’s] just like when you’re at a job and you ask for an extension, right? And you ask for a raise, right? You’re not letting anyone down. Who are you letting down? For asking your boss for a raise? So when you take the personal feelings out of it, you kind of can get it: all I’m doing is asking for a raise.”
Point blank, Jones was asked for his message to Kansas City’s fans.
“Opinions are like buttholes — everybody’s got them, and they all stink,” he laughed. “Some are going to like it, some are going to respect it and some are going to dislike it. That’s just the way it is. You can’t make everybody happy, unfortunately. As much as you try to do and as much as you try to appease people, you’re not going to make everyone happy. Unfortunately — and I’m sorry. Right?”
There have been questions as to whether Jones could suit up on Thursday night against the Detroit Lions if his team and the Chiefs could come to an agreement over the next 24 hours or so. Jones said that he believes he could play if the circumstances were to be right.
“I don’t know yet, man,” he said. “I don’t know. I could be playing. I could be on the sideline. I don’t know. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Jones had previously posted that his holdout may last until Week 8, which is in late October. As of Wednesday, it appears that timeframe remains a possibility.
“We shall see,” he said. “Right now, it’s Week 1, so we’ll just see how this thing goes. Things can change in an amount of days. There’s 24 hours in a day, right? So there’s 24 hours for feelings to change, positions to change and situations to change. All we can do is take an hour at a time.”