Chiefs Rumors

Still No Progress On Deal Between Chiefs, Chris Jones

Last month, we heard that extension talks between the Chiefs and star DT Chris Jones had stalled. Jones skipped minicamp as a result of his contract situation and may hold out of the first part of training camp (as we have noted previously, he must report by August 6 in order to remain eligible for unrestricted free agency next year).

But a source tells Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that both sides are presently entrenched in their negotiating positions and have not really budged. Further, Mellinger indicates that Jones’ camp and the Chiefs have not even discussed the matter recently.

Jones, understandably, 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, Mellinger does say that the club would prefer to pay out a significant chunk of those guarantees upfront in the form of a signing bonus, and given that “only” about $44MM of Clark’s guaranteed money was fully-guaranteed at signing, perhaps Jones and the Chiefs are not as far apart as it appears.

The Chiefs, though, have every reason to slowplay this situation, because even if they don’t reach a long-term deal with Jones this year, they will have gotten another season out of him for next to nothing and could simply hit him with the franchise tag in 2020 (and whatever money they don’t spend this year they can roll over into next year). And, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be eligible for an extension that is sure to be otherworldly in 2020, such an extension will probably be quite lengthy, which will help to make the price tag a little more palatable. That’s not to mention the fact that the salary cap is likely going to continue rising, and the Chiefs have a number of contracts that could be terminated or reworked.

Jones is an excellent player, and one expert believes he is already a $20MM/year defender. He would be plenty justified in betting on himself and spurning whatever proposal the Chiefs have on the table if he does not believe it represents fair market value, though it would also be quite difficult to turn down the type of money that Kansas City is apparently already offering.

As Mellinger notes, Jones has not publicly said that he will skip any portion of training camp, so it will be interesting to see if he reports with the rest of his teammates this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyreek Hill’s Long-Term Future In Kansas City

At the beginning of the 2019 offseason, and before his potential legal issues arose, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and the team had begun talks on a long-term deal. The team also included Hill’s name in trade talks according to a report from The Athletic’s Jay Glazer in March

“I heard some rumblings at the start of free agency that his name was being thrown about in trade talks, but at the time thought it had to do with his contract more than anything else,” Glazer wrote.

At the time of these reported talks, Hill had yet to be thrust into the spotlight with reports of child abuse. Earlier this week, the NFL ruled that the star receiver would not face a suspension, stating that with evidence presently available it could not determine that Hill broke the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

So with the reports of possible trade talks and the ensuing legal issues, where do the Chiefs go with the speedy pass-catcher, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2019?

Contract talks are expected to resume soon, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, and if the teams reach an impasse, a trade again becomes a possibility. Florio notes a deal at the 2019 trade deadline could happen but is unlikely, with an early 2020 deal, assuming the franchise tag is applied, as more of an outcome.

Though the Chiefs could meet Hill’s contract demands — likely $20MM per year — the team also traded up in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft to take Mecole Hardman, who many think could fill the same explosive role that Hill has thrived in. If Hardman proves he can handle the role in his rookie season, the franchise tag and trade option becomes even more likely.

Latest On Chiefs, Tyreek Hill Extension Talks

Tyreek Hill picked up a huge victory earlier today when it was announced that he wouldn’t be suspended by the league. We heard shortly after that the team was going to wait to resume contract talks, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still plan on locking him up. Sources reiterated to Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports that the team does plan on extending him still.

A source also told Paylor that “there are questions that must still be answered about Hill’s personal life,” and he writes that “there are still things that need to play out that will provide closure and comfort that a similar ordeal won’t happen in the future.” That being said, Paylor also points out an interesting factor that might entice the Chiefs to get a deal done sooner rather than later.

Both Hill and superstar defensive tackle Chris Jones are heading into the final year of their contracts. If the Chiefs don’t extend one of them before the season ends, then at least one will enter unrestricted free agency and spark a bidding war, “since NFL teams can franchise tag only one player per season.” It’s an interesting observation, as the team would certainly like to keep both under team control without letting either hit the open market.

In a video posted to Twitter, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided some additional clarity on the situation. Rapoport explained why the team stood by him even when things weren’t looking good, saying the Chiefs “believed he was upfront and honest with them” and never lied to them, which was a “direct contrast to the Kareem Hunt situation,” where Kansas City felt Hunt didn’t tell them everything.

Pivoting to his contract, Rapoport confirms the Chiefs “plan on making sure” that Hill is “properly compensated,” and that they’ll likely make him one of the highest-paid receivers in the league. He notes that possible delays will be due to the team taking time “specifically to make sure that” complex contract language can be sorted out. It seems likely that whatever deal Hill signs will include specific language to protect the franchise in case he gets in any more off-field trouble.

For what it’s worth, Hill’s side understandably seems eager to talks going again. “Hill’s camp hopes to revisit contract talks ‘as soon as possible,'” a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. It might not go as quickly as Hill’s reps would like, but it sounds like something will get done in the near future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill

The NFL has opted against suspending Chiefs star Tyreek Hill, despite accusations of child abuse. Here’s a look at the latest fallout from the league’s controversial decision:

  • The NFL interviewed Hill for more than eight hours and spoke with some of his family members, but on-and-off partner Crystal Espinal declined several requests to talk (Twitter link via Ed Werder). As he notes, the prosecutor in Kansas City spoke to both Espinal and Hill and did not bring charges in the case.
  • As the league’s statement indicated, today’s decision does not mean that Hill is out of the woods. “Not over yet if something new comes out from court proceedings,” a league source told Werder (Twitter link).
  • In a public statement, Hill expressed gratitude towards the NFL for its decision and vowed to Roger Goodell that he would “not let [him] down.” He also said the claims against him are “false allegations,” consistent with what his camp has said in the past.
  • Recently, audio surfaced of Hill telling Espinal, “You need to be terrified of me too, bitch.” In spite of this, Hill escaped further suspension from the NFL. In response to an inquiry from PFT, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “That audio tape was reviewed as part of the overall investigation, which also included speaking to multiple people, including family members on both sides and Tyreek Hill. In addition, other information was gathered over the last four months.”
  • The Chiefs may still be interested in a contract extension for Hill, but they’re putting a pin in that for now.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Wait On Tyreek Hill Extension

On Friday, the NFL announced that there will be no suspension for Chiefs star Tyreek Hill. Still, the Chiefs aren’t in a rush to restart contract talks with the wide receiver. It will most likely be several weeks, “if not months,” before negotiations resume, James Palmer of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

[RELATED: No Suspension For Tyreek Hill]

When the two sides sit down to talk turkey, the new contract will likely have very specific language pertaining to Hill’s off-the-field behavior. Effectively, the Chiefs will be looking to financially shield themselves from future missteps from Hill and he’ll have little room for error if trouble arises again.

Hill is presently in the final year of his rookie contract, paying him just over $2MM. His next contract should position him as one of the highest-paid receivers in the game, provided that he stays on the straight and narrow.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Suspension For Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill

The NFL will not suspend Chiefs star Tyreek Hill after its investigation into allegations of child abuse. Here is the league’s statement, in full: 

Over the past four months, we have conducted a comprehensive investigation of allegations regarding Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Throughout this investigation, the NFL’s primary concern has been the well-being of the child. Our understanding is that the child is safe and that the child’s ongoing care is being directed and monitored by the Johnson County District Court and the Johnson County Department for Children and Families.

In conducting our investigation, we have taken great care to ensure that we do not interfere with the county’s proceedings or compromise the privacy or welfare of the child in any way. The information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us, and the court has sealed all law enforcement records. Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child’s injuries.

Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy. Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City’s training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention. 

If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time. ​

With that, Hill should be a full participant in training camp and on the field for Week 1 of the 2019 season. From a football perspective, it’s a huge win for the Chiefs – last year, Hill nearly reached 1,500 yards receiving, averaged 17.0 yards per grab, and gave opposing defensive coordinators nightmares.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Joel Corry On Chris Jones

The Chiefs and Chris Jones have made no recent progress towards a long-term deal, which means that Kansas City can, if it wants, have Jones play out the 2019 season for a bargain $1.2MM salary (Jones, after all, has to report to the club by August 6 to receive an accrued season toward free agency). However, if the Chiefs want to keep Jones in the fold for the long haul, it will have to pony up some cash soon.

And as Joel Corry of CBS Sports relays in a series of tweets, Jones is not going to come cheap. Corry suggests that Jones is already a $20MM+/year player, and if he performs as well in 2019 as he did in his breakout 2018 campaign, it will be hard to keep him for less than Aaron Donald‘s six-year, $135MM pact with the Rams. And if the Chiefs put the franchise tag on Jones next year and he plays the 2020 season under the tag while still performing at a high level, Khalil Mack money (six years, $141MM) won’t be enough.

The Chiefs learned with Justin Houston that waiting to extend an elite player can become overly costly, and Corry suggests KC should not go that route with Jones.

Latest On Chiefs, Chris Jones

There has been no change in the Chris Jones situation in recent weeks, a source tells Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). It doesn’t sound like a new deal is on the horizon for the defensive tackle, though he’ll have to report to camp by Aug. 6 to receive an accrued season toward free agency.

Jones skipped the team’s mandatory minicamp, subjecting him to roughly $90K in fines. From here, Jones doesn’t have a ton of options, though he’s made it clear that he wants a bump from his current deal. For now, he’s slated to earn a $1.2MM base salary with a paltry $1.3MM cap hit.

Following his stellar 2018 season, the 25-year-old should end up seeing a sizable pay raise. Jones enjoyed a breakout campaign, finishing with a career-high 40 tackles and 15.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked him fifth among 112 interior defenders, with his pass-rushing score ranking second at the position.

With Dee Ford out of the picture, the Chiefs need Jones more than ever. In a perfect world, they’d lock him up immediately, but a long-term pact for the rising star won’t be cheap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Juan Thornhill, Cody Thompson

  • Brook Pryor of the Kansas City Star takes a shot at projecting the Chiefs‘ 53-man roster. After an impressive spring, Pryor believes UDFA Cody Thompson will fill the club’s last WR spot at least until Tyreek Hill returns from his likely suspension, and she tabs Juan Thornhill as a key piece to the Kansas City secondary. The second-round rookie from UVA looked good in spring practices before injuring his hamstring, and assuming he is ready for training camp and continues to play well, he will be the Chiefs’ starting free safety and Tyrann Mathieu will be able to play closer to the line, which is his preference.

NFL Supplemental Draft Order

The NFL’s Supplemental Draft order does not go by the inverted win/loss records of clubs. Instead, the order is dictated by a weighted lottery that uses a team’s win percentage as just part of the equation. Here, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) is the complete order of the supplemental draft:

1. Lions
2. Broncos
3. Jets
4. Cardinals
5. Giants
6. Bills
7. Raiders
8. 49ers
9. Jaguars
10. Packers
11. Bengals
12. Bucs
13. Falcons
14. Vikings
15. Redskins
16. Titans
17. Dolphins
18. Steelers
19. Panthers
20. Browns
21. Ravens
22. Patriots
23.Cowboys
24. Seahawks
25. Eagles
26. Texans
27. Bears
28. Colts
29. Saints
30. Chiefs
31. Chargers
32. Rams

The supplemental draft is conducted via email. If multiple teams submit a pick for the same player in the same round, this order dictates which club gets the player. Of course, any team picking a player in the supplemental draft will sacrifice the corresponding pick in the 2020 draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.