Defensive tackle Chris Jones is not going to be traded, at least not right now. Once the draft began Thursday night, we learned that this important part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ core will likely be here to run it back with his teammates.
Chiefs Owner and CEO Clark Hunt made some comments before the draft that Jones’ representatives and team representatives were in talks to work out a long-term deal. This is something that has been anticipated since Jones was slapped with the franchise tag. There was some speculation Jones could be traded, but both parties involved seem to want that same thing: to keep the band together.
It all comes down to money. Jones wants to maximize his earnings. The Chiefs want to get a fair deal in place while also understanding they will need to pay quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the very near future.
Jones is a part of what I like to call the “Core Four.” Every team has about four players they tend to spend big money on. As it currently stands, the Chiefs are actually getting very good value with a couple of their star players in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Thanks to wide receiver Sammy Watkins restructuring his contract, he isn’t getting wildly overpaid anymore. Defensive end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Matthieu came in as big-money free agents last offseason. Jones and Mahomes will be the next to get their big payday, and the Chiefs will have their “Core Four” locked in to help build this team into a dynasty.
There are still options on the table. The Chiefs could force Jones to play on the franchise tag this year. This would likely lead to an exit after next season if they can’t come to a long-term agreement this summer. It wouldn’t be ideal to see Chris Jones hold out either. If the Chiefs pay Jones what he deserves in a long term contract, he will be one of the highest-paid defensive linemen in the league. He is one of the best to play his position and it would be worthwhile for the Chiefs to make this move and keep him as a cornerstone of their franchise.
With the 2020 NFL Draft coming to a close, the Chiefs can now focus on getting this deal done with one of their top-end talents. It wouldn’t have been a true #RunIt Back season without Jones up front on this defensive line. The Chiefs could keep Jones for one more season and leave it at that, or they can do the right thing and keep him in Kansas City for another five years.