The optimism and confidence had by many in Chiefs' Kingdom took a gut punch when training camp started, as no deal was struck between All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones and the Kansas City Chiefs. The cryptic messaging and odd lack of transparency from both Chris Jones and the Chiefs gives cause for concern and in some cases, optimism that a deal will still get done. For many in the NFL insider world though, a deal is still "far apart" (in the words of ESPN's Adam Schefter) and an acceptable deal for Chris Jones has rumored to be around the $30 million a year mark, making him the 2nd highest paid defensive lineman in the league behind Aaron Donald. There's still plenty of time, but there has still been no sign of Chris Jones at training camp or any indication that a deal is in the works.
Now, I am as big of a Chiefs fan as the next guy. I would love to see this deal get done if at all possible, but I think some #VeachBlackMagic is in order for something to happen that benefits both Jones and the Chiefs in the long run. $30 million a year outright would be pretty hefty for the Chiefs. It would require them to cut corners in regard to paying other players like L'Jarius Sneed, it could potentially put them in a place lovingly referred to as "Cap Hell", and overall, it would be unnecessary, at least in my opinion. Chris Jones has stated time and again that he is a "Chief for life" and loves this organization. It's given him two rings, great organizational leadership, and Patrick Mahomes to boot. Him leaving on his own accord seems unlikely, and something tells me he would be willing to accept some compromise in regard to this situation. My prediction is that a deal gets done, a deal that will include many guarantees and incentives that would allow Jones to be paid like the player that he is. I see a lot of people compare this situation to the one that involved Tyreek Hill two years ago, however Tyreek was more expendable due to the presence of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Jones is the centerpiece of that defense, you lose him, this defense takes a significant step back. It also sets a dangerous precedent that defensive players will not get recognized and paid if they join the Chiefs, a precedent that could prove very costly down the line. In my opinion, paying Jones is a necessity and the Chiefs have the ability to do it to where it benefits both parties, so they need to sit down and work it out before the season starts. Like...this week.
However, what do you think? Are the Chiefs able to pay Jones that money? If so, should they, or should they let Jones walk? CAN they let Jones walk? Let me know down in the comments below and on social media.
Burn Notice: 8/10 Heat's rising, we may be looking at a hot stove.