Amidst the ongoing stalemate involving Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, the spotlight shifted to star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who delivered his take on the situation with a dash of earnest camaraderie.
Expressing his sentiments, Mahomes conveyed: “I know how much Chris loves the Chiefs. I just try to stay out of it and tell Chris I love him.” This affable perspective was shared during a conversation with The Athletic’s Nate Taylor. Mahomes further acknowledged: “We know he’s preparing himself… I don’t think anyone expected him to be out this long. He’s a vital part of this organization.”
Jones, firmly entrenched in his stance, has been unequivocal about his extended holdout. His absence during the entirety of the training camp has raised eyebrows. Just recently, he took to social media to declare his willingness to prolong his hiatus from the team until Week 8 of the 2023 season.
Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid, addressing the scenario, unveiled that a communication breakdown has become a stumbling block between the team and the decorated four-time Pro Bowler. Nevertheless, Reid exhibited a pragmatic resolve, ready to navigate the upcoming 2023 season with the present roster. In Reid’s own words: “There’s been no communication, so I don’t know what’s going to go down… They got to communicate and do their thing. There’s just been no communication.”
Observations by Taylor revealed that Jones, entering the final year of his substantial four-year, $80 million contract, is angling for an extension amounting to an annual salary of $30 million, positioning him as the second-highest-paid defensive tackle. This aspiration follows his standout performance in 2022, marked by an impressive 15.5 sacks and 29 quarterback hits, instrumental in securing the Chiefs’ second Super Bowl victory in three years.
The absence of Jones, an irreplaceable asset in the Chiefs’ defense, looms as a palpable setback. Taylor underscored that the team had proffered a reasonable offer but remains resolute in its stance.