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Chris Jones Speaks About Contract Situation and Holdout From Chiefs

On Wednesday morning, Jones discussed his intentions and explained his ongoing holdout away from the Chiefs.

The day before the Kansas City Chiefs begin their 2023 regular season against the Detroit Lions, fans had a chance to assist in the 'Red Wednesday' campaign by purchasing this year's team-themed Red Friday flags. Proceeds from donations for flags helped Ronald McDonald House Charities of KC, and a special appearance from defensive tackle Chris Jones at the Ronald McDonald House helped brighten the days of many inside the building.

Outside, however, Jones spoke to the media about his ongoing holdout from the team. While the star interior lineman couldn't go into great specifics on what's going on in negotiations, he did reiterate that he wants to be a Chief for the remainder of his playing days. Video from Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star can be viewed below.

"I can't really talk about it," Jones said to open up. "Hopefully it gets worked out. It's always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I've said that multiple times on social media platforms, from interviews, and they know where my position is at. Hopefully we can get something worked out for the long term."

Jones, who didn't participate in the Chiefs' offseason program during stages such as OTAs, training camp or even the preseason, is under contract for the 2023 campaign with a base salary of $19.5 million but has also lost over $2M in fines. Kansas City placed him on the reserve/did not report list once the club's initial 53-man roster got set. This allows the team to get away with not paying Jones or having his salary kick in while he isn't with them, also leaving room for a two-week window for a possible unpaid ramp-up period once he reports. 

Jones already took to social media to express that his holdout could go deep into the regular season. The current defensive tackle market has a gap of just over $7M between the highest-paid player (Aaron Donald, $31.7M per year) and the next-closest one (Quinnen Williams, $24M per year), which makes the Jones situation even trickier. Offered numbers have been floated in recent days but with Week 1 now here, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Jones stated that the process has been "peaceful" for him and far from frustrating, and he added that he's kept in contact with his teammates. 

When asked about whether he feels like he's letting his teammates down by continuing to hold out, Jones wasn't buying into that narrative. 

"How?" Jones asked. "That's what I've got to ask: how have I let them down? It's just like when you're at a job and you ask for an extension, right? You ask for a raise, right? You're not letting anyone down. Who are you letting down for asking your boss for a raise? When you take the personal feelings out of it, you kind of can get it. I'm just asking for a raise." 

As far as his playing status is concerned, Jones said he could "be out there tomorrow" if a deal was reached on Wednesday. The Chiefs have been forced to effectively move forward without him in their preparations for the Lions, leaving Steve Spagnuolo's defense with no All-Pro talent along the defensive front. For every game Jones misses, he'll lose a weekly $1.08M game check.

Read More: Chiefs vs. Lions — 5 Questions and Week 1 Prediction