Negotiations between the Kansas City Chiefs and Chris Jones over a new contract for the star defensive tackle continue to rumble on. Patrick Mahomes has gone on record with his thoughts on the situation, but it wasn’t until general manager Brett Veach spoke to the media on Wednesday that a clearer picture emerged.
“We have been in communication, actually just in the last two days we’ve been in more communication,” Veach said. “We’re going to continue to press on and work hard. A lot of respect on both sides of this thing.”
Jones closer to getting a raise?
While Kansas City wants Jones to sign on the dotted line in the coming days and rubber-stamp his return to the team, the player is keen to maximize his earnings with one of the richest contracts ever given to a defensive lineman.
Jones, who wants a salary closer to the $30 million a year that Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald earns, is entering the final year of a deal paying him a still-substantial $19.5 million base salary for the 2023 season.
Jones has stated his intention to sit out several weeks until the dispute is resolved. The Chiefs open their title defense next Thursday against the Detroit Lions in the season’s first game.
Chiefs’ early schedule isn’t kind
Getting Jones signed and happy is a priority for Kansas City — and the Chiefs will need him, as their schedule through the opening weeks of the 2023 NFL season features meetings against three 2022 playoff teams.
After the season opener against Detroit — the team many believe will win the NFC North this season — the Chiefs will visit reiging AFC South champions Jacksonville in Week 2 and visit Aaron Rodgers’ New York Jets in Week 4. After that comes a visit to the Minnesota Vikings and a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7.
“It’s been well stated how we feel about Chris, and he feels the same way,” Veach said Wednesday. Again, we’re just going to keep working on this thing. We’re looking forward to next Thursday and hopefully he’s in the lineup, and he’s ready to go.”