Chiefs GM: Team Has No Intentions Of Trading Chris Jones

As the situations involving Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Wilson and others illustrated, team power brokers insisting no trade will take place can be a precursor to a trade indeed coming to fruition. As Chris Jones‘ Chiefs holdout heads toward two weeks, GM Brett Veach addressed the situation.

Jones is entering the final season of a four-year, $80MM Chiefs contract, but as the defensive tackle market shifted this offseason, the four-time Pro Bowler is now ninth in terms of AAV at his position. As Jones holds out, Veach expressed a desire for the All-Pro defensive tackle to finish his career in Kansas City.

I think for all parties, I think the best resolution would be for him to end his career as a Chief — and get that financial security — and for us to do what we had set out to do, and that’s to work through last offseason with this offseason in mind and get some young guys, which we did that, and then focus on this year and getting Chris done,” Veach said, via the Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell. “Hopefully we get this resolved, but we have no intentions of making a trade.”

Since Veach has been in the GM chair, the Chiefs have not shied away from big-ticket trades. In 2019, they swapped Dee Ford in a tag-and-trade deal with the 49ers. A month later, they were on the other end of a tag-and-trade transaction — the Frank Clark deal with the Seahawks. In 2021, the Chiefs put together a trade package headlined by a first-round pick for Orlando Brown Jr. Last year’s Tyreek Hill trade — for a five-asset Dolphins package — is the most pertinent to the Jones matter.

The Chiefs begun negotiations with Hill on a third contract early in the 2022 offseason. Although Veach has since cited the team’s desire to balance out their roster around Patrick Mahomes‘ current contract, the organization had another Hill extension on the radar. But Davante Adams‘ $28MM-per-year Raiders deal changed the All-Pro deep threat’s asking price. Hill said he did not need to be the NFL’s highest-paid wideout to stay in Kansas City, but the Chiefs shopped him in a quick process that ended with the likely Hall of Famer in Miami. One of the team’s reasons for trading Hill: Jones’ third contract.

You have to keep in mind that when we did make that move with Tyreek, one of the determining factors was because there was an expected Chris Jones deal,” Veach said. “And so, to do [a] Tyreek [extension], there was a concern of, ‘Would we be able to do Chris?’ “And so that was a moment of time, and it was before the draft, that we hit the reset button. And we’re like, ‘You know, it’s really hard to trade a player the magnitude of Tyreek Hill.’ But we’re following that up with someone just as significant and on the defensive side.”

Hill soon signed a position-record contract with the Dolphins, a $30MM-per-year extension that includes an inflated final-season salary that ballooned the AAV to that place. Jones also wants a contract in the $30MM-AAV neighborhood, seeking money closer to the Aaron Donald range ($31.7MM per year) than the recently established Quinnen WilliamsJeffery SimmonsDexter LawrenceDaron Payne tier ($22-$24MM per year). The Chiefs want him closer to that group than Donald.

It wouldn’t be as good as one with [him], and I think we certainly acknowledge that,” Veach said of a Chiefs 2023 roster that does not include Jones. “I mean, he’s the guy that makes everything tick. I think that’s apparent to us, and that’s why — going into the offseason and even to where we are now — that’s why our mindset is to continue to work hard to get something done with him, because that’s how we feel about him.

“… He’s a great player, and he wants a big contract. He deserves a big contract, and I don’t think there’s any surprises in that regard. But there’s just some hurdles we have to work through in regards to how we can keep this thing going for the short and long term. But we’ve never wavered on, ‘This is a guy that we want to exhaust all of our efforts to get done.’

Veach, who has been with the Chiefs throughout Andy Reid‘s tenure, has built the team’s roster around John Dorsey-era draftees Jones, Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Core performers like Hill, Clark, Brown, Justin Houston and Tyrann Mathieu have shuttled through western Missouri during the franchise’s peak period. This is not the first time Veach has spoken at length about the talks, but after the previous round of comments indicated plenty of time remained to hammer out a deal before training camp, Jones has become the rare 2020s player to stage a holdout.

Jones, 29, has accumulated more than $600K in fines during this holdout, one that accompanies Nick Bosa and Zack Martin‘s efforts. Like Bosa with the 49ers, Jones is firmly in the Chiefs’ plans. How high will the team be willing to go to end this impasse?

View Comments (13)