Chris Jones battled his way through injury in time to make a contribution to the Chiefs' Super Bowl run, but the same sense of urgency hasn't applied to his contract situation.
Jones and the Chiefs remain far from agreeing to a long-term deal, with not much progress made recently because negotiations or discussions haven't occurred since the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Jones, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Jones has not participated and will continue to not participate in any OTAs, virtual or otherwise, Rapoport added.
Jones was an absolute monster in 2018, but groin and calf injuries limited him in 2019. His absence was notable, as the Chiefs' pass rush struggled without him on the field during the postseason, falling from a QB pressure rate of 39 percent to 18 percent. A quantifiable reason for this decrease in effectiveness was the loss of Jones' blur of a get-off, which at 0.89 seconds on average was tied with Aaron Donald for the quickest among defensive tackles.
Folks rightfully rave about Donald's speed, but Jones should be mentioned in the same breath. That's part of why his calf injury that he played through in the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl was so important, seeing as it's a muscle that's vital to propulsion. He managed to find a way to contribute at less than 100 percent, recording one tackle and an eyebrow-raising three passes defended in the Chiefs' win over the 49ers.
Jones' value to the Chiefs was demonstrated by his absence. The lack of participation in offseason activities is just a common leverage play for a player looking to maximize his earning power while up for a new deal. It's largely a matter of whether the Chiefs truly want to get a deal done, and if they and Jones' representation can find some common ground in negotiations. Until then, Jones remains under the team's control thanks to the franchise tag, which he's yet to sign.