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Chris Jones deal will be done "no time soon"

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones applied maximum leverage early in the 2023 season, skipping all of training camp and the preseason and eventually missing the regular-season opener. On Wednesday, he took a different approach, announcing publicly that he'll be back with the Chiefs in 2024, despite an expired contract.

Adding to the perception that a decision has been made was Jones's specific claim that he'll be back this year, next year, and the year after that. It suggests that a three-year deal is being negotiated, and that it's possibly close to being done.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, an agreement is expected "no time soon."

The first step will be whether the Chiefs apply the franchise tag to Jones. With his 2023 cap number at $26.808 million, it would cost the Chiefs $32.16 million for a one-year deal. If they tag him and hope to sign him to a long-term deal, $32.16 million becomes the starting point.

If he isn't tagged, he gets a ticket to free agency. He would be one of the top available free agents. Other teams (like, say, the Chargers and new coach Jim Harbaugh) might overpay Jones in order to both get him away from the Chiefs and to add him to a defense that will try to stop the Chiefs.

Will he take less than he can get elsewhere to stay in Kansas City? That's for Jones to decide. There's a natural allure to the potential for winning a third straight Super Bowl. But this is his last chance to maximize his revenue. Why should he take less than he can get? The owners never, ever do.