It was expected that the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs would put to use the franchise tag with standout defensive lineman Chris Jones.
Kansas City general manager Brett Veach made it clear on Thursday that he hopes the tag is a means to securing a long-term pact with the burgeoning star.
"I think the deadline to get a deal done is July 15," said Veach, via team transcript, of the deadline to sign tagged players to a multiyear extension. "So, there’s a lot of time to continue the dialogue and to work on something with Chris, but we certainly are going to work to retain him, not just for next year, but for the future."
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When the Chiefs used the non-exclusive tag on Jones on March 16, it came as little surprise. However, unlike last offseason in which Kansas City was on each end of the tag-and-trade — acquiring Frank Clark after he was tagged by the Seahawks and trading Dee Ford to the 49ers after the Chiefs tagged him — Jones’ situation doesn’t appear to be headed down the road out of K.C.
"We’ve had a lot of discussions with Chris and the Katz brothers (his representation) and we continue to have that," Veach said. "We’ve got a lot of time. Certainly, it’s a unique environment we’re working with and we were able to navigate the free agency period and retain some guys. We’re going to work through the draft and we’re going to continue dialogue, but we know how talented Chris is, I think the franchise tag speaks for it. We also have a lot of time."
It would seem that so too does Jones.
Heading into his age-26 season, Jones has four years under his belt and burst onto the scene in 2018 with a 15.5-sack season. Last year, despite missing three games due to injury and a whole lot more attention from opposing offensive game plans, Jones had nine sacks and impacted the game as a versatile threat who can line up anywhere on the defensive line. Jones’ 87.6 overall grade via Pro Football Focus was sixth in the league among interior defensive lineman and it would seem his future is quite bright.
And it would seem his future is in Kansas City if Veach’s aspirations come to fruition.
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