Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones is not in attendance for the team’s OTAs, “as expected,” according to Yahoo Sports.
As expected, Chiefs DT Chris Jones has not reported for the start of OTAs this week, per a source.
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) May 21, 2019
Jones did not attend the team’s voluntary workouts at the beginning of May and is once again absent as the team starts to ramp up its offseason activities.
The Chiefs have started voluntary offseason workouts, but one very key player is absent, multiple sources tell Yahoo Sports: https://t.co/Qin3Uxa9Z6
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) May 1, 2019
Yahoo points out that Jones is entering the final year of his rookie contract and could be looking for an extension coming off of a year in which he led Kansas City with 15 1/2 sacks.
The team could be considering putting the franchise tag on Jones after this season just like it did with Dee Ford after the 2018 year.
If that were to happen, Jones could either sign it or ask instead to be traded.
Ford ultimately didn’t ask to be traded, but with the Chiefs naming Steve Spaguolo as their coordinator and the subsequent move to a 4-3 defense, Kansas City decided to move the outside linebacker to San Francisco.
The Chiefs then acquired defensive end Frank Clark from the Seahawks and signed him to a five-year, $104 million deal.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spoke about his excitement over having Clark and and Jones on the same defensive line after the trade.
“You have to win these games in the trenches — you have to have a great O-line and a great defensive line,” Veach said. “We feel really good about our defensive line.”
No matter when Jones reports to OTAs — if he does at all — the Chiefs have to make some kind of a decision on what to do with his contract by the end of this year.
Le’Veon Bell sat out an entire season to get the trade and contract he wanted, so that’s not out of the realm of possibility for Jones.
But before jumping to that conclusion the Chiefs first have a mandatory minicamp June 11-13 that Jones can be fined for missing under NFL rules, a first test of his will.
The fact remains that the Chiefs have a year to decide what they want to do long-term with Jones, and for now at least, when it’s not costing him any money, it appears the defensive lineman isn’t in any rush to get back on the field.