Defensive lineman Chris Jones will not hit the open market. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Kansas City Chiefs are using the franchise tag to keep their homegrown star in town for at least one more season. Jones is coming off a Super Bowl victory with the Kansas City Chiefs and was among the highest-ranked free agents.
No surprise, but Chiefs are placing franchise tag on DT Chris Jones today, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
Chris Jones Receives Franchise Tag From Kansas City Chiefs
Jones was originally a second-round pick of the Chiefs in 2016. He began his pro career playing defensive end in an odd front in Bob Sutton’s defense. He enjoyed a breakout in 2018, recording 15.5 sacks (Third in NFL), 19 tackles for loss, and forcing two fumbles. Last season he took an individual step back, notching nine sacks. He also had one forced fumble and one recovery.
In college, Jones spent three years playing on the defensive line for Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs of Mississippi State. He finished his collegiate career with just 8.5 sacks but was still getting in backfields with 18 tackles for loss. Jones left Starkville with a 2-1 bowl record in his three years on campus.
Off-field “issues” (a suspended license) and poor combine numbers contributed to Jones’ slide into the second round. He was being compared to Muhammad Wilkerson and Jordan Phillips otherwise. After a slow rookie season when he had just a pair of sacks, that number rose to six in 2017, and the aforementioned 15.5 the following season.
Being a second-round selection means the fifth-year option is not an option for Kansas City, thus Jones hits free agency at the perfect time. He didn’t have a sack, but he did bat down three Jimmy Garoppolo passes in the Super Bowl. He was also named to his first Pro Bowl this season.
It had been reported that the Chiefs would use the franchise tag on Jones (much to his chagrin) once the new CBA is in place. There had also been rumoring Kansas City could receive a rather substantial package in return for any Jones trade. At any rate, he will make a lot of money this season.
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