The uncertainty surrounding All-Pro Chris Jones’ status is the elephant in the room for the Kansas City Chiefs entering the 2023 season. The star defensive tackle is still holding out as he seeks a new contract from the front office, causing him to miss training camp and the preseason.
The person in charge of leading these discussions from the Chiefs’ end is general manager Brett Veach. The negotiations over the offseason haven’t resulted in Jones being back with the team, but there was optimism from comments made during Veach’s Zoom press conference with reporters on Wednesday.
“We have been in communication,” Veacg explained. “And, actually, just the last few days, we’ve been in more communication. So we’re gonna continue to press on and work hard and a lot of respect on both sides of this thing. It’s been obviously well stated how we feel about Chris, and he feels the same way. So again, we’re just going to keep working on this thing. We’re looking forward to next Thursday, and hopefully, he’s in the lineup and ready to go.”
Jones ranked amongst the best defensive players in the NFL last season, emerging in many critics’ opinions as the league leader at his position. Veach refused to share details of the ongoing conversations in tradition to respect the players involved in negotiations.
“We’ve been in communications, and I think, you know, I like to keep all of those communications between us and them just out of respect for the whole process, and in the hopes that we can continue to work to get something done.”
Jones was placed on Tuesday’s Reserve/Did Not Report list for failing to attend team facilities at the NFL’s mandatory deadline. However, Veach continuing to be in communication is a positive step in a troublesome negotiation process.