Blinders On, Blinders Off: Chris Jones

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Arrowhead Guys look at both side of the coin as it relates to Chris Jones and contract negotiations with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Why am I writing about Chris Jones? Because Stone Cold said so, that’s why.

Chris Jones is one of everyone’s favorite Chiefs! That’s pretty universal to say, and not even one of those statements where you have to use the addendum–in my opinion–to calm everyone’s Internet angst. But is he a fan favorite right now? Now that it’s been reported that he’s not going to attend mandatory mini-camp? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe now, he’s everyone’s favorite worry. Why?

Because Stone Cold… wait, I already used that. It’s because everyone typically worries when a star player doesn’t attend anything. OTA’s, mini-camp, training camp, preseason, game 1, game 16, the Playoffs, the National Anthem, your baby boys bar mitzvah… anything! Which is why it’s time for the Chris Jones edition of Blinders On, Blinders Off. With the subject being simple: Should we worry about Chris Jones’ absence and lack of long-term contract from the Kansas City Chiefs?

Blinders On:

I absolutely love Chris Jones. There’s definitely bias in my opinion about him. I love the way he plays. I love the way he uses his Twitter account. I love the way he slams Gatorade like The Texas Rattlesnake himself. I love the way he pumps up the sea of red during home games at Arrowhead. I love his constant energy and dancing. I love the way he blows up offensive lines and makes plays. I can write 95 more things that I love about number 95 easily.

Chris Jones is elite. In just three seasons of play, the 6-6, 310 lb swinging d*** out of Mississipi State has been ridiculously dominant. Especially, last season. But overall, Stone Cold Jones has racked up 24 sacks, 100 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 52 quarterback hits, 16 passes defended, forced six fumbles, intercepted two passes and scored one TOUCHDOWN, Kansas City!!! All of that was in 48 games!

But did you know that Chris Jones only started 29 games? I consider myself a die-hard Chiefs fan, and I thought that he had started way more games than that. I guess I need to throw a few Hail Mary’s to the football Gods to be forgiven for that abomination of lack of knowledge. The point is, Chris Jones has missed some starts. It’s okay if he misses some practices and takes some time out to get the right contract done. Every star NFL player goes through the same thing. Almost every player has an NFL agent. And likely, every agent tells players the same thing: Hold out!

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It’s a players bargaining chip. Is it positive? No. Does it make fans not worry? No. Does it matter? Yes!

Does it matter to the extent that fans worry about it? No. It’s not shocking. It’s not a surprise. It’s not breaking news. It’s just an aspect of football that is known and irritating. Being frustrated, surprised and mad about a player’s contract situation is akin to watching Friday the 13th part 13 and being shocked and dismayed that Jason is killing again.

Chris Jones will be a Chief. He’s tweeting about winning the Super Bowl and having his best season. Who cares if he is not in mini-camp? He just watched a Seahawk get $104 million dollar contract to become a Kansas City Chief! If you were the best at what you do and they signed someone to a contract that was 16.69 times the amount of your entire contract. You wouldn’t want a raise? You wouldn’t holdout? You wouldn’t feel a little under appreciated? I’ve lost my mind over co-workers making a few more bucks an hour than me. Frank Clark has a contract that is worth $97,768,771 more than the life of Chris Jones rookie contract.

Chris Jones will be a Chief. Have a little patience with a side of perspective. Support one of our best players instead of being mad and worried. This guy wants to help us a win a Super Bowl. And I don’t know about the rest of you. But I for one, believe he means it!

Blinders Off:

Chris Jones was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. You remember? I remember! It was in 2015. He was picked number 37 overall in the second round. He was excited to be in the NFL. He was ecstatic to sign his contract for the red and gold. ECSTATIC! About what? About his first NFL contract. For how many years? Four. He’s played three seasons! What’s 4-3? No, not his new defense that he’s missing by not attending OTA’s and mini-camp. 4 minus 3 is 1 so 4-3=1!

That means that Chris Jones agreed to play for the Kansas City Chiefs for four years and still has one year left on his deal. What the Andy Heck is the problem Chris? You know what Stone Cold would say? Stone Cold would say get your ass to practice! And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so! You agreed to a deal. You follow up on that deal. Simple. No argument. That’s the agreement. It’s not hard. Show up. The number one ability in sports is availability Chris! You are not available. Chug some gatorade with both fists and get your behind to practice, because you’re behind. The Chiefs need you. The new defensive coaches need to see your skills. The rookies like Khalen Saunders need to see your incredible work ethic. Frank Clark and the Honey Badger need to see your energy in practice and they need to build off that.

Who cares if they make more money? You’ll get your contract. A brand new one. And you’ll get it just as soon as you finish this one. You say online you want the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl? Well the Chiefs need you Chris Jones. And they need you there now–at your current price tag. Win the Super Bowl. Get a new contract or franchise tag after you make that happen and make Frank Clark’s contract look a bargain bin deal.

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What’s so hard about that? Do your job Chris Jones. Get to mini-camp. Mandatory doesn’t mean don’t show up. Mandatory means: Required by a law or rule, OBLIGATORY ~ MANDATORY. We know you want money Chris. We know you deserve money Chris. But look at your buddy, Bell. He missed the Steelers’ entire season. You really want to miss the whole entire season Chris? The season where the Chiefs seemed destined for the Super Bowl with you leading the defense on the way there. You really want to miss that opportunity Chris Jones?

Because why? Money? I thought you wanted to win. Guess not. I guess Stone Cold’s words are a little Luke warm. Is your agents name Luke by any chance? Because you’re totally Vader’ing Mahomes’ hand off by having these financial ‘star’ wars with the Chiefs. Get to camp!

Conclusion

Wow! Holy confliction, Batman. Which approach is right? Which approach is left? That was a lot of words, both positive and negative. What does that mean for Chiefs fans? It means that it’s complicated like crappy Facebook relationships. It’s public like that too. For the whole world to see if they so choose. But here’s a secret. Not even everyone in Chiefs Kingdom cares.

Online at Arrowhead Guys, and online in places like Twitter and Facebook, Chiefs die-hard social media users care. However, there’s this crazy thing called Summertime going on and many fans that pile into Arrowhead 80,000 strong just don’t care or know about the Chris Jones situation. Does that mean online fans shouldn’t care? Does that mean I should stop clicking this keyboard right now? No.

It does mean that things will play out whether fans worry or have hope about Chris Jones. His agency and the Chiefs will figure out a solution. And meanwhile, some of the Chiefs younger players will get some extra opportunity to show what they can do while Chris Jones is not with the team. That’s not a bad thing.

Pick a side, hopeful or angry, but realize, the Chiefs season isn’t going to be cancelled because Chris Jones isn’t there. It will still happen. Chris Jones wants to be there and wants to win a Super Bowl as much as any of us.

Overall:

In my crazy delusional mind, I genuinely believe Chris Jones and the Chiefs will reach a big time deal. Will it be today, tomorrow, next month or next year? I don’t know. What I do know is that eventually Chris Jones will be there and he’ll be the face of the Chiefs defense as they seek a second notch in their Super Bowl bedpost, just like I put a second notch in my Blinders On, Blinders Off posting with this topic.

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Keep dreaming about the Super Bowl everyone, and just believe eventually Chris Jones will be there to lead the way. Just like he said he would do. Why?

Because Stone Cold said so!

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TyroneSpiderMidKan Chiefs LiferBerserkerJustaChiefsFan Recent comment authors
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Tyrone
Tyrone

I had to stop reading just to comment how much I loved this line

In just three seasons of play, the 6-6, 310 lb swinging d*** out of Mississipi State has been ridiculously dominant.

Spider
Spider

I agree CJ has earned a second contract/extension but I rarely think holding out is the way to get it.

Chieftess-Blinders-On
Chieftess-Blinders-On

Another great piece! I know how passionate you are about Chris Jones, and you served the situation well. 😘

Anthony Stratton

Ooooh this could get confusing…

Welcome aboard, and thanks for lending us your guy.

Chieftess-Blinders-On
Chieftess-Blinders-On

❀

JustaChiefsFan
JustaChiefsFan

Welcome!

Chieftess-Blinders-On
Chieftess-Blinders-On

Thank you. I feel very welcome here!

upamtn

4 minus 3 is 1 so 4-3=1

there’s a reason we keep you around …

upamtn

oh, love the Blinders On – Blinders Off series … this is like the best of both worlds

Team Player
Team Player

I’m just overjoyed that we have a defensive player good enough to have leverage.

workingmansdead

Like Eric Berry or Justin Houston?

tsv0728
tsv0728

Hopefully exactly like EB and JH, except the part where they take a season ending injury as soon as they sign the contract

ChiefUdall
ChiefUdall

Everyone needs to understand how Spags/Daly’s view CJ’s value to his position on the D.
Look what Daly did with NE D line, name those players and look at their contracts.
I am sure they love him, but they might not want him for the $ he wants.
Could he play this year under current contract, tag and trade next year?

01lowbird

I think its a likely outcome, in fact I said the same thing a month or two ago.
Add in, the Chiefs drafted a player to replace his spot on this year. CJ is small likes and its all going towards this is CJ’s last year in KC

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

The more I think about it, the more this seems possible.

Tyrone
Tyrone

I’m on the tag and trade train

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

I don’t look forward to the wailing and crying here if that happens. It will be ugly.

Druful
Druful

You’re getting it twisted.

When Spags was actually successful, he had an elite DL with the Giants. Daly had the advantage of Hoody coordinating the defense.

Berserker
Berserker

Truth.

Anthony Stratton

I’ve been trying to tell folks that this was a possibility the moment they paid Clark…

BleedingRedAndGold

Wouldn’t like it much if it goes down that way, but certainly a possibility. I’d prefer to sign him, but he could follow the example of Bell, for all I know.

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

It’s not about paying the man. He’s going to get paid. It’s about the timing. He’s under contract, so play out the contract. It only strengthens his position next year. I know the counter to this will be “what if he gets injured”. Well it’s football. That’s the chance everyone takes when they go out on the field. The Chiefs need to be more careful handing out big money deals. There’s nothing wrong with expecting someone to play out the terms of the contract they signed.

tsv0728
tsv0728

What about when the Chiefs cut Berry and Houston? Did they break the “play out your contract” rules you believe should be hard and fast?

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

There’s no way you can argue that either of those guys were living up to their contracts. Like it or not, the players know what they are signing and know what’s actually guaranteed. Both of them made their money. In fact, those two are the perfect cautionary tale about the dangers of long term deals. Like I said above, I’m sure CJ will get his big deal, but with the big payday of Mahomes coming soon, the Chiefs are going to need to be more careful about throwing money around. I don’t fault them for not backing up the money truck to CJ’s door as fast as he thinks he deserves.

Mink Farmer
Mink Farmer

Players not living up to their current contract = okay for team to cut them

Players over performing current contract = not okay for them ask for new contract

tsv0728
tsv0728

Zactly

Berserker
Berserker

/thread

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

This exactly

tsv0728
tsv0728

If it is ok to cut a player because he isn’t performing in line with his contracted rate, it logically follows that it is ok to request the team pay you more when you are performing well above your contracted rate. Maybe the Chiefs decide to pay him, maybe not, but even by your logic it is clearly reasonable for him to request a new contract

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

I get that it looks bad and in a perfect world, it would work out that way, But it doesn’t. It’s business. You sign a contract to work for any business, they will hold you to the letter of the contract. It doesn’t matter what you feel like you deserve. It sucks. But that’s how it is. Like I said before, I believe he’s going to get a deal, I just think the timing might be bad for it to happen now. There is a chance, however small it may be, that with Daly that the team just doesn’t see the need to tie up all that money in the DL. Only time will tell.

Druful
Druful

You’re right it’s just business and Chris is making a business decision here. Contracts don’t force compliance, they just provide for penalties if the contract isn’t adhered to.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

I think the fair way to do this would be for all players to have vet minimum base contracts, but then have incentives along the way if they reach certain milestones. That way, the players that perform each year are compensated more than those who don’t perform. Not saying that the players would ever go for it, but that’s how you realistically deal with underpaid/overpaid players.

Anthony Stratton

That causes huge problems for the intent behind the salary cap.

I think the better solution would be to have certain milestones void the remainder of a rookie contract. This would basically mean once you outperformed your rookie contract the team would be forced to re-sign you, or tag and trade.

upamtn

… I like it …

and if you underperform you don’t make as much

Anthony Stratton

Nope. That part has to stick. You can’t give teams an out for bad drafting.

Berserker
Berserker

Or bad coaching. Or strategically restricting a player’s snaps….etc, etc.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

But what about beyond the rookie contract? Because that’s also part of this discussion. What do you do about the Eric Berrys of the world who sign massive deals only to end up being unavailable? If we’re insisting that players should be compensated for out-performing contracts (rookie or otherwise), we should also be figuring out a way to lessen compensation for those players who haven’t played up to their contract.

Anthony Stratton

I think teams and players alike need to live up to the pro contracts they sign. At that point they both do so willingly.

Only rookies have no real ability to negotiate their value.

workingmansdead

It’s a two way street

StramtoReid
StramtoReid

Your post reports how C J saw the Chiefs sign Clark to a big contract. If I am C J. I look at how many sacks I had and how many sacks Clark had and believe I’m worth more money than Clark.

The problem is, how much can the Chiefs afford to pay Clark?

Great Post because it talks about C.J. only played 29 games and he doesn’t have leverage because he has a year left on his contract.

Anthony Stratton

The problem is the Chiefs should have paid Jones BEFORE they traded for Clark imo. He likely signs for less before he see’s how much the team was willing to give up for a lesser talent.

01lowbird

Whats the number we think C Jones is going to ask for

tsv0728
tsv0728

I would think it will be something very close to what Clark got. DT doesn’t have the positional value of Edge, but Chris is a much better DT than Clark is Edge. $110m/5yr/65m Gtd. Something in that neighborhood.

01lowbird

Ive heard he wants more.

Tyrone
Tyrone

He can have it somewhere else

stjoechief
stjoechief

I’ll hold players to fulfilling their entire contracts when teams start doing so. The first thing we look at in a big contract is the amount of money, but the second thing is at what point the team can realistically cut the player. Jones is second only to Aaron Donald among defensive linemen–DE’s and DT’s both. He’s worth more than Frank Clark. If Veach is trying to pay him less, then maybe he should have gotten the extension done before trading for Clark.

Zman84
Zman84

I think there is a slight difference in team vs player & cut vs holdout. Players will receive ALL of their guaranteed money (barring other circumstances) and teams are penalized via cap dollars for cuts. Eric Berry is going to receive around $9m this year from KC I believe. And all this is agreed upon by the team and player/player rep.

Players holding out for outperforming contracts is subverting that agreed upon contract. If you want to argue the rookie scale/slotting imo is different and something that Jones could have held out for at that time while not under contract.

Berserker
Berserker

There would have been no point in Jones’ holding out before he signed his rookie contract, because the team is prohibited by the CBA from giving him significantly more money than is already slotted for that draft spot. The only thing a team can do with rookie deals is play with the timing of payouts and bonuses. An example would be how SD has habitually delayed payouts to rookies in a way that no other NFL team does, and Bosa held out because of that.

Also, of course, Jones had not yet out-performed his rookie contract at that time.

The suggestion that a rookie could hold out to get a bigger rookie contract, under this current CBA, makes absolutely no sense, because that would require the CBA to be changed.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

These are two completely different discussions though. if we could perfectly rank every NFL player as Player A > Player B, Player B > Player C, therefore Player A > Player C, take the entire combined salary cap from all 32 teams into a single pool, and then pay each player in the league relative to their value, that would be great.

But what if (not saying he is, just what if) Clark is way overpaid. Just because he’s overpaid doesn’t mean that CJ automatically should be proportionally overpaid, does it? True value is not equal to comparative value.

workingmansdead

But actually it does mean that. “Just because he’s overpaid doesn’t mean that CJ automatically should be proportionally overpaid, does it?” Because there are other GM’s who will pay it. That’s how Brock Osweiler gets contracts worth tens of millions and then takes like twelve snaps and rides the bench.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

But we’ve been arguing that it’s not fair for teams to expect players to fulfill their entire contract if the team can cut the player whenever. And my point is simply that if you want a perfectly fair world, each player would get their rightful true value. That means that an average player wouldn’t necessarily be overpaid just because another average player was overpaid, and a great player wouldn’t be proportionally overpaid because another average player was overpaid.

Berserker
Berserker

We’re not talking about “perfectly fair,” though. We’re talking about a player who is currently making, on average, less than 1/10th of what his market value would probably be.

It makes no sense to think that a guy who is making 10% of his market value doesn’t have a case to renegotiate just because you can point to some other guy who happens to be making “only” 80% of his market value. That’d be like getting caught doing 100mph in a 25mph zone, and complaining about the guy who didn’t get a ticket for doing 35mph.

KCChef
KCChef

” Noice ! ” … : )