KC Chiefs: No need to worry about Chris Jones extension

Dallas Cowboys v Kansas City Chiefs
Dallas Cowboys v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

The start of Kansas City Chiefs training camp is here, and just like most years, there's a tricky contract situation that has become the main discussion instead of anything going on in practice. This year, it's Chris Jones, who we had a similar situation with just three years ago when he signed his first extension for 4 years and $80 million.

Jones is absent yet again for the start of training camp amidst a discussion of yet another extension. Additionally, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Jones and the Kansas City Chiefs are "far apart" on a deal at this time. Jones, who is 29 years old, is coming off a year in which he tied his career-high in sacks and finished as a Defensive Player of The Year finalist.

No, it's not time to panic yet about the lack of a deal between the Chiefs and Chris Jones.

With it now being late July and reports coming out that the two sides are far apart on any sort of extension, fans are now asking themselves "Is this where we panic?". The answer is no, it's not time to panic yet about not reaching an agreement with the team's best defensive player.

First, it's important to remember that these situations almost always get worse before they get better. Very rarely does a training camp holdout where there has been no extension result in something getting done immediately. They might be far apart right now on a deal, but these things can progress quickly and the Chiefs already know what range they need to be in after seeing what the other top defensive tackles got paid this offseason.

That brings us to our second point. It is very likely that the plan was always to wait and see how the market played out for the other top interior defensive lineman so that the team could fulfill Jones' wish of being "at least the second-highest paid" at the position as The Athletic's Nate Taylor reported earlier this offseason.

There would have been no point in giving Jones a deal earlier than those guys as they would just have ended up jumping whatever Jones made. So far we've seen Jeffery Simmons of the Tennessee Titans, Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders, Javon Hargrave of the San Francisco 49ers, Dexter Lawrence of the New York Giants, and Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets all get paid massive amounts of money this offseason.

Williams was probably the last big name before Chris Jones to get extended this offseason and he ended up getting four years, $96 million, making him the second-highest paid in the league at the position behind Aaron Donald. Once again, this tells the Chiefs where they need to be. The reality is that Jones is better than all of those aforementioned interior defenders, thus, he deserves to be paid more than them.

What many people aren't acknowledging is that Jones and his agent likely also weren't signing anything until seeing what those other guys got. While it makes some fans queasy after witnessing how expensive Tyreek Hill got which ultimately led to the Chiefs trading him, this is how the process works for the absolute blue chip, elite-level players in contract negotiations.

Yes, Jones is going to be expensive. There's no way around that. At the same time, this is different than the Tyreek Hill situation because the Chiefs are prepared this time around and the entire reason they traded Tyreek Hill was because it meant that they wouldn't have to let go of another player they liked later on that they valued more. That player would be Jones. Wide receiver is much easier to find productive players but it is extremely hard to find a player with a bigger impact on a defense than Chris Jones.

If it makes fans feel any better, just remember that Jones tweeted this earlier this offseason...

Sure, it might look iffy right now whether or not something gets done, but Jones and Kansas City know the importance of each other and are motivated to get something done. It's just common knowledge. Kansas City won't let one of the best defensive players in franchise history simply walk for nothing. There is a lot of time between now and when Jones actually becomes a free agent to work something out.