Chris Jones’s Contract Holdout: Chiefs Star Watches Opener vs. Lions from Suite

Chris Jones, the Kansas City Chiefs’ standout defensive player, was noticeably absent from their season opener on Thursday night. His contract holdout has spilled over into the regular season, and as a result, Jones found himself watching from a suite at Arrowhead Stadium while his teammates battled it out on the field.

As the final year of his four-year, $80 million contract unfolds, Chris Jones remains steadfast in his pursuit of a contract extension. His determination has led to this ongoing holdout, with a base salary of $19.5 million for the current season hanging in the balance.

Speaking at a charity event hosted by the Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City just a day before the opener, the four-time Pro Bowler opened up to reporters about his situation. “Hopefully, it gets worked out,” Jones expressed, his commitment to the Chiefs evident in his words. “It’s always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I’ve said that multiple times on social media platforms and in interviews, and they know where my position is at.”

Chris Jones's Contract Holdout: Chiefs Star Watches Opener vs. Lions from Suite

The toll of this holdout is already substantial for Jones, with over $2 million in fines accrued for missing mandatory minicamp and training camp. Now, he faces the prospect of missing out on his weekly game checks.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, feel the void left by Chris Jones keenly. His presence has been instrumental in the team’s recent success, including two Super Bowl appearances.

Chris Jones’s impressive career stats underscore his significance. With 243 tackles, 65 sacks, 65 tackles for loss, and 33 pass deflections in 107 regular-season games, he has undoubtedly been the Chiefs’ most potent pass rusher from the interior defensive tackle position.

For their opening game against the Detroit Lions, the Chiefs were forced to adjust. The starting defensive line featured Chris Jones’s absence, with Tershawn Wharton and Derrick Nnadi at defensive tackle and Mike Danna and George Karlaftis at defensive ends. This quartet collectively accounted for just 12 sacks last season, a far cry from Jones’s impressive tally of 15 ½ sacks in 2022.

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In a double blow, Chris Jones isn’t the sole star missing from the Chiefs’ lineup. Tight end Travis Kelce is also sidelined due to a knee injury, compounding the challenges for the team as they navigate the early part of the season without some of their most formidable players.

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