Kansas City Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones remains a holdout as he looks for a lucrative long-term contract. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year finalist isn’t in uniform for Thursday night’s season opener against the Detroit Lions inside Arrowhead Stadium.
However, multiple media reports indicate that Jones is actually in attendance inside a luxury suite for the game. According to NFL Media’s James Palmer, the Chiefs were not opposed to Jones being there.
Entering the final season of his current contract, the 29-year-old Jones is set to earn a base salary of $19.5 million in 2023. It is far below market value. Jones has also incurred fines of $2.2 million for holding out throughout training camp and the preseason. He’ll receive another fine of north of $1 million for missing the regular season opener.
“I can’t really talk about it. 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.”Chris Jones to reporters on Wednesday
Despite ongoing dialogue, the defending Super Bowl champions were not able to get Jones locked up before the start of the regular season. It is going to have a major impact on the Chiefs’ defense until he’s able to return.
Chris Jones stats (2022): 44 tackles, 29 QB hits, 17 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks
As the Chiefs open their title defense without Jones in the mix, several media reports indicate that they have no intention of trading the start defensive tackle.
However, this is going to be all about how long Jones opts to hold out and whether the Chiefs provide him with a fair-market offer. Thus far, that apparently has not happened.
Time will tell on this front.