4 lingering questions about Chris Jones's return to the Chiefs

Even with Jones back, we're left with plenty of questions about what exactly has been happening for the last several months
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) answers questions from the media during team
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) answers questions from the media during team / Cheryl Evans/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Does this imply a long-term divorce?

When the terms of Jones's contract were announced—at least in terms of length—the immediate assumption on the part of almost everyone in Chiefs Kingdom seemed to be that Jones was setting himself up to leave Kansas City (or was being set up). Given that he's only returning on a single-season deal and that it was so difficult to work out anything for the long term, it makes sense.

But as we've learned even to this point with these negotiations, it's difficult to project just how things might turn out for the team and player because we never ever thought it would get this far.

At this point, the likely way forward for the Chiefs will be to use the franchise tag on Chris Jones after the season is over so that they don't lose him for nothing in free agency. Then they can trade him to a new team in order to secure some assets in return, which is what they did with Dee Ford when he was leaving in free agency. They ultimately dealt him to the San Francisco 49ers for an early-round pick while the Niners also gave Ford a lucrative new deal.

But there's a long road between now and next offseason and many things could happen. The ground between both parties could soften. Jones could change his demands and/or his representation. The Chiefs might see another season from Jones and decide to sign him again. Or maybe both sides reached some sort of gentleman's agreement to let Jones walk in free agency if he reports immediately. There's no way of knowing right now.

Either way, the long-term relationship between Jones and K.C. looks suspect, which is frustrating since it wasn't so long ago that both sides wanted to stay together as long as they could.