The KC Chiefs have one untradable player (and it's not Chris Jones)

Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones is currently holding out for a new contract extension. While fans hope that Jones sticks around for a few more years, everyone knows that (almost) nobody is untradeable.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

Training camp is here, which means football is here. As the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs took their annual pilgramage to St. Joseph, Missouri they were notably absent one player. That player is Pro Bowl defensive lineman Chris Jones.

Jones has transformed himself into one of the top defensive lineman in the league, and some might even argue the best if you factor in a down year from Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald last year. Jones is easily top two at his position. Asking for a contract extension to match that play is understandable. This is the offseason of d-tackles getting paid, and so it's logical that Jones goes from 8th in salary to much higher.

There are several rumors swirling of what exactly that figure looks like, with most putting a reasonable number in the $28-29 million/year range. But one report says that Jones wants at least $30 million a year (just slightly below Donald's $31 million.)

For the right price, anyone on the Kansas CIty Chiefs roster is expendable except for one and that includes their best pass rusher.

Every day that Jones holds out of camp the tension that seems to be brewing between himself and the Chiefs will only heighten—at least from everyone else's perspective. It's really hard to tell how anyone feels in these conversations until after they are finished. Which is why the "nuclear option" of a trade can either seem ridiculous or quite possible. Nobody knows.

Just like nobody knew with Tyreek Hill, which just when everyone thought he was going to be with the Chiefs long-term, suddenly he was shipped to Miami in a matter of hours after the first stories broke. For Chiefs fans, Hill serves as a warning that nobody (except Patrick Mahomes) is untradeable.

Much to the chagrin of my father-in-law (sorry James), that means there is an argument to be made that Chris Jones could be traded. Now to be clear, I don't want that to happen, but it could, and here is the argument I think the Chiefs could make for doing so.

First, history is on their side that even key players can be traded and the team can still be championship caliber. I already looked at Tyreek Hill as an in-house example. But the New England Patriots were a prime example of doing this during their dynasty. Nobody was safe, and for the "greater good" of the championship window, it was better to trade or let a player go than watch them decline under a bloated contract.

Second, a Chris Jones trade would bring in major haul of draft picks (and potentially players). I mean a real treasure trove would be required. General manager Brett Veach got at least two first round picks for Hill, so how much could he get for Jones? At least the same, if not more. Star wide receivers are good, but pass rushers are worth their weight in gold.

Just like the Hill haul, the Jones picks would allow the team to restock as they face a growing class of homegrown talent reaching the ends of their rookie deals, particularly on defense. You can't keep all of them, and so an abundance of picks would help offset those losses for years to come.

Except this brings us to the third side of this potential trade: salary cap space. If you haven't heard, the Chiefs are strapped for cash this year. This in an of itself makes a Chris Jones extension almost a necessity. But let's say a trade does happen. That's about $20 million off the books this year, plus an additional (proposed) $30 million a year for the next few years.

That's a lot of money that could be used to keep some of other stars like L'Jarius Sneed, Willie Gay, Nick Bolton, Creed Humphrey, and Trey Smith. Having them all around for a while dulls the pain of losing Chris Jones a little bit.

I don't want to see the Chiefs trade Chris Jones, just like I didn't want to see them trade Tyreek Hill. But now I stare at my No. 10 jersey with sadness yet remembering also that the Chiefs ended up being Super Bowl champs anyway.

If the Chiefs do in fact trade Jones, there will be a lot of people having a similar experience staring at their number 95 jerseys (like my father-in-law). In spite of the sadness, the Chiefs will still be competing for rings.