The negotiations between the Chiefs and defensive lineman Chris Jones may be on the right track. Jones, who previously skipped team activities, reported for the start of training camp on Friday.
“He knows his value and if he has to play out his deal in order to reach free agency, then that’s what he will do. For now, he’s focused on winning a Super Bowl for Kansas City,” his agents told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
Jones wants a deal similar to the one that Frank Clark received after he was traded to Kansas City from Seattle (five years, $104MM, $63.5MM in guarantees). The Chiefs, meanwhile, want to keep the AAV lower than $20MM per season and want to keep the guarantees in the $45-50MM ballpark. However, the Chiefs may prefer to pay out a significant chunk of those guarantees upfront in the form of a signing bonus, and given that only ~$44MM of Clark’s guaranteed money was fully-guaranteed at signing, the two sides might not be far apart.
The Chiefs, though, have every reason to slow play this situation. Even if they don’t reach a long-term deal with Jones this year, they can get another season out of him for next to nothing and hit him with the franchise tag in 2020.
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