If Chris Jones was intending to put pressure on the Kansas City Chiefs by attending Thursday’s game as a spectator, mission accomplished.
The Chiefs star defensive end is holding out as he eyes a contract extension. A stalwart of Kansas City’s defense, he’s coming off an All-Pro campaign last season with 15.5 sacks. However, that wasn’t enough to get the Chiefs to extend him, and now he’s threatening to hold out until Week 8 – at which point he can return and in time to get credit for this season so he can reach free agency.
Jones was present for the season opener at Arrowhead Stadium, which the Chiefs lost 21-20 after blowing a pair of leads in the second half. Asked on The Joe Rose Show if he thought it was weird for Jones to attend the game, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio took a different position.
“I thought it was gutsy just from the standpoint of it tests your resolve,” Florio said. “Are you truly willing to stay out until Week 8 to get credit for this year of your contract, become a free agent potentially next year? Are you willing to be at the game and feel that pull of you want to be down on the field, you want to be with your teammates? But so far, advantage Chris Jones because they lost last night.
“I think back to the Emmitt Smith holdout of 1993. The Cowboys dug in, Emmitt dug in, they lost their first two games and Jerry caved and they went on to win the Super Bowl once they got Emmitt back. Now, apples to oranges because Chris Jones doesn’t play offense obviously, but a little more pressure on the Chiefs this morning than there was yesterday morning to get this done."
While the defense’s performance left plenty to be desired, it’s fair to argue that more pressing than getting Jones back is giving Mahomes help. Kansas City’s offense was sloppy in the opener, with dropped passes left and right, forcing Mahomes to throw to a dozen different players in the loss.
Regardless of what is more pressing, getting Jones back in the mix undoubtedly has become more imperative following Thursday’s showing. And as for all the money Jones is missing out on by holding out, Florio thinks that can be rectified.
“He’ll make it all back,” Florio said. “He’ll make it all back with the stroke of a Clark Hunt pen.”