Why Chris Jones has to report to Chiefs by early August

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Defensive end Chris Jones
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Defensive end Chris Jones /

The Kansas City Chiefs have to expect defensive lineman Chris Jones to report by August 6 for a key reason for his financial future.

The drama seems to be building with each passing day. For every morning that passes without a Chris Jones sighting in Kansas City, the rumors circulate all the more about the tension, the enmity, the distance between both sides: the player and franchise.

The Kansas City Chiefs have stated publicly that they want to sign their star defensive lineman for the long-term. Jones has also said he wants to be in K.C. for the rest of his career. At that point, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that an agreement would be reached any given day.

These days, however, Jones remains missing in action while others are showing up for mandatory minicamp. Fines are being incurred on Jones’ part but it’s a pittance compared to the big money he’s holding out for. Meanwhile, a brand new defense is being installed with new coaches and teammates yet the anchor of the line has yet to be seen.

Well it turns out that Jones will have to report sooner than later. We don’t mean that in a general “of course he will report” sense, but Joel Corry explains at CBS Sports that Jones has a very legitimate report date of August 6 at the latest.

"Missing this Aug. 6 deadline and Jones playing out his rookie deal after a failed holdout would make him a restricted free agent in 2020, rather than unrestricted. Under this scenario, the Chiefs would have the ability to give Jones a restricted free agent tender, which will be between $4.627 million and $4.848 million, where they would get a first-round pick next year from a team signing him to an offer sheet that isn’t matched."

Given that Jones is holding out for money, there’s zero chance of the lineman holding out any longer when he holds so little leverage already. He has the power to make us talk about his contract scenario for several days in June and July, to be sure, and he’s doing exactly that. His absence has not only Chiefs media focused on his contractual hopes but the volume has been turned up on the national level as well. However it’s clear here that a megaphone is the only weapon at Jones’ disposal.

The doldrums of the NFL offseason can be frustrating to wait out, which means the Jones holdout is likely to seem longer or more consequential than it really is. But it sounds like the Chiefs will have at least 30 days to get Jones ready in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense before the season begins.