Kansas City Chiefs are making sure that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones remains on their team for the 2020 NFL season. According to NFL Insider Ian Rapaport, Chiefs will use the franchise tag on Jones while they try to negotiate a new deal with the 25-year-old.
Jones, who played the previous four years on a rookie contract, was set to become a free agent in March. As Chiefs couldn’t lock him on an extension so far, the team decided not to take any risks and ensure he’s around even if the negotiations aren’t fruitful.
Under the franchise tag, Jones would earn around $16 million, which is far less than he could get on an open market. He has two productive seasons behind him, in which he racked up 24.5 tackles, 76 tackles and nine passes deflections. This could easily guarantee him a contract worth north of $100 million.
Chris Jones himself isn’t too happy about the franchise tag, thinking he showed enough to get paid right away. “It’s a little hard,” he said during his recent appearance on Fox Sports. “It’s like, ‘What else y’all want me to do? I’ve got to go ahead and get 30 sacks — 35 sacks — to show y’all I can?”
If the two sides realize they are too far away during the negotiating process, Chiefs might end up trading the player and try to get some value for him rather than letting him walk. Jones is aware of this scenario and isn’t opposed to it if that means he’ll get paid.
“But the beautiful thing about the franchise tag [is] that it can go one of two ways,” he added. “The team can either long-term you to have you for the future, or they can trade you. Either way, I’ll get paid benefits.”