Chiefs fans aren't going to like ESPN's free agency prediction for Chris Jones

Say it ain't so!

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) warms up
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) warms up / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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All good things come to an end and for the Kansas City Chiefs, their time with Chris Jones very well might be coming to an end this offseason. The Chiefs traded out of the first round in the 2016 NFL Draft and moved back to the second round and nabbed Jones with the 37th overall pick.

Since entering the league in 2016, Jones has been one of the most ferocious pass rushers and despite preparing to enter his age-30 season, he's going to be a hot commodity in free agency. Kansas City elected not to use the franchise tag on Jonesand is rumored to be saving it for L'Jarius Sneed. That means that Jones could end up finding a new home in the offseason.

Jones is coming off back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks and had what could have been the game-winning defensive play of the Super Bowl when he immediately got in Brock Purdy's face to force a key incompletion on third down. He's going to get a lot of attention this spring.

When predicting a key free agent move for every NFL team, Aaron Schatz of ESPN does not have Jones returning to Kansas City and instead has them signing with the Detroit Lions.

"The Lions are Super Bowl contenders with a healthy amount of cap space, so they're going to get linked to every top defender who's available. I might as well give them the best one out there, and a player who happens to fill their need for a pass-rushing 3-technique defensive tackle. Jones ranked second among all defensive tackles in pass rush win rate last season (19.6%), and he had the highest double-team rate at 72%. If he makes it to free agency, he would be a huge addition to the Lions' defense and could be the difference-maker who finally brings them to the Super Bowl."

Chris Jones joins Detroit Lions in free agent prediction

To credit Schatz, his exercise did not allow for any free agent to sign with his current team, so in this exercise, Jones was going to leave. While Chiefs fans don't want to see Jones go, joining the Lions wouldn't be nearly as bad as him linking up with a fellow division rival or the Bengals or Bills. He'd at least be in the NFC where the Chiefs wouldn't have to face him unless they made it to the Super Bowl and the Lions happened to be there as well.

The Lions had a magical year in 2023, making it all the way to the NFC Championship Game where they took a massive lead before petering out and allowing the 49ers to come back and win it. We all know what happened from there.

The Lions could definitely use Jones, who had 10.5 sacks this past season and is an absolute wrecking ball defensively. There's going to continue to be a lot of hype for the Lions and if they added Jones, they might be people's pick to represent the NFC in next year's Super Bowl.


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