The Kansas City Chiefs tagged defensive lineman Chris Jones, but have no plans to trade him. They want to secure a long-term deal for him this offseason.
It came as no surprise when the Kansas City Chiefs slapped Chris Jones with the franchise tag.
The former second-round pick out of Mississippi State has been a monster along the defensive line for the Chiefs for years. Knowing that another team would have paid a gross premium to get him on the open market, the Chiefs wisely opted to use the tag on him for 2020.
However, it does seem that Kansas City may have plans to put together a long-term deal for him this offseason. ESPN’s Adam Schefter did a take over of The Boardroom’s Twitter account on Thursday afternoon, does a series of ask me anything questions on the topic of the NFL. Here is what he had to say about Jones’ future in Kansas City.
“Well, they put the franchise tag on him, so they’re planning to keep them,” said Schefter. “Now he’s going to want a new long-term deal, but that may be tough to achieve. Both sides will work to make that happen.
“They know he’ll be costly, they want to keep him. They kind of have to keep him. I would say both sides will have until July 15 to try to work out a long-term deal, which is why the Chiefs are so up against the cap right now. They know they have big moves to make.”
No team is in a worse spot up against the salary cap than the Chiefs. Schefter pointed out much of this stems from exercising the franchise tag on Jones and keeping wide receiver Sammy Watkins on a $21 million cap hit.
As for the other big moves they have to make as an organization, Schefter is alluding to the Chiefs having to put together a lucrative, record-breaking contract for superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He will not come cheap either.
The sooner the Chiefs figure out a way to pay Jones a reasonable salary for a player of his caliber on a long-term deal, the quicker they can get to negotiating a new deal for Mahomes. The longer Jones’ new contract takes to put together, all that will mean is more money the Hunt Family will have to pay Mahomes as their franchise quarterback. It’s only going up from what could be $40 million annually.
Overall, the Chiefs have some time to work something out with Jones before he does end up playing the 2020 campaign on the tag. However, they can’t reasonably extend Mahomes until they’ve got Jones on the books for longer than next year. The clock is ticking.