Does the Patrick Mahomes extension clear the way for a Chris Jones contract?
By Matt Conner
With Patrick Mahomes’ contract done, do the Chiefs have enough time, interest, and financial space left to sign Chris Jones?
The ink is still not yet dry on the staggering new 10-year contract extension just announced between the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but time is pressing and the Chiefs still have some important work to do in the front office. Specifically, with a deal for Mahomes finally signed, sealed, and delivered, the spotlight now turns to another star player on the other side of the ball.
What will the Chiefs do with Chris Jones moving forward?
What’s interesting here is how reports in recent days have insinuated that a contract with Jones might not get done after all. Rumors have floated saying there’s been “little traction” between both parties on any new negotations, and then Chris Jones took to Twitter to insinuate recently that he would sit out if the Chiefs wouldn’t meet his demands.
That said, the Chiefs took the same posture with Mahomes as they did with Jones (and vice versa). The Chiefs stated publicly that they wanted to sign Mahomes to a new contract extension this summer, and they’ve said the same about Jones. Jones himself said he wants to remain with the Chiefs, and Mahomes has said he wants to be with the Chiefs for life. In Mahomes’ instance, both the team and player were able to make good on those public statements and come to terms on this new deal. Of course, it helps that the deal is record-setting.
As for Jones, it’s impossible to tell from the outside just how serious the Chiefs are chasing any sort of long-term extension with Jones at this point—if at all. Despite saying all the right things, the Chiefs face a July 15 deadline to get a deal done, so there’s little time left to come to some agreement. Given the negative public stance of Jones, it’s hard to be as optimistic as it was even two weeks ago when silence could have been taken as good news.
The Chiefs have the leverage at this point with Jones, given that he’s already been hit with the franchise tag for 2020. It might not come with the job security he wanted (and earned, in my opinion) to date, but he is scheduled to make $16.6 million if he plays under the tag. Unfortunately, an abbreviated offseason makes injuries more likely across the board for every player, so Jones is taking a bit of a risk if he wants to sit out even beyond when players report back (if they do) in the wake of a global pandemic.
Did the Chiefs leave enough time to get something done with Jones? Does Mahomes long-term deal allow them to shift some of those burdens far ahead of time for the sake of getting a deal with Jones done? We will know all of these answers soon enough.