Kansas City Chiefs Superstar Skips Minicamp, Pursuing New Contract

The Kansas City Chiefs are testing the patience of one of their very best players. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday afternoon that four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones was absent from the team's mandatory minicamp today.

Jones made his desire for a massive new extension known earlier this offseason. The Chiefs expressed a willingness to make a deal earlier this month, but the two parties have been unable to find common ground so far.

The highest-paid interior defensive lineman (and non-quarterback) in the league is Los Angeles Rams superstar Aaron Donald, who is currently playing on a three-year, $95 million contract. Jones is about to enter the final year of a four-year, $80 million deal and will likely expect a deal just behind Donald's singular extension.

Donald is a generational player and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, but Jones has a very real claim to being the second-best player at their position. He led all interior defensive linemen last year with his 92.0 overall Pro Football Focus grade and earned a first-team All-Pro while tallying 15.5 sacks. After quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, he's been by far the Chiefs' most valuable player over a four-year stretch that has included three Super Bowl appearances and two wins.

The Chiefs are presently a mere $650K under the 2023 salary cap, according to overthecap. As expensive as Jones' next deal would certainly be, it would likely give the Chiefs some much-needed relief on their balance sheet. So long as they can swing something that doesn't sabotage future seasons, a deal makes sense for both sides. 

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