Standout defensive lineman Chris Jones and his Super Bowl-champion Chiefs have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.
However, if Jones, who the team applied the franchise tag to in March, doesn't get the deal he's desiring, it might be well past mid-July until Kansas City sees the uber-talented DL again.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday on NFL Total Access that Jones has "always viewed himself as a $20 million-plus" per-year player, but that the Chiefs have never seen him in such a light and have never offered him that substantial an amount. Hence, Garafolo added there is "a lot of work to be done," if a long-term pact is to be had and Garafolo's not confident it will happen.
Jones, a 2019 Pro Bowler, replied via Twitter to a reply to a video of Garafolo's report that a holdout might be in store.
"Or I won't play. Le'Veon Bell told me about this," Jones' tweet read.
Bell famously -- or infamously, pending on your viewpoint or rooting interest -- held out all of the 2018 season while he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers seeking a lofty contract. He was eventually released and signed a lucrative deal with the New York Jets.
Jones, 25, is set to make $16.1 million during the 2020 season on the franchise tag and currently there are only two defensive tackles making north of $20 million annually, per Over the Cap, and that's the Rams' Aaron Donald and the Colts' DeForest Buckner.
Jones, whose 87.6 grade via Pro Football Focus was the seventh-best among interior defensive linemen in 2019, is a four-year pro who really burst upon the scene in 2018 when he tallied 15.5 sacks. Over the last two seasons and 29 games played, he has 24.5 sacks. Aside from his statistics, though, Jones can play all along the line and impacts a game like few others.
Should he hold out, not only would it likely be a blow to the chemistry of the reigning Super Bowl champions, it would also take one of the most talented young defensive players in the league off the field.
It seems as though the honeymoon may well be over for the champs.