KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With one day until the Kansas City Chiefs’ season opener against the Detroit Lions, it’s unlikely that Chris Jones will be hitting the field.
But he did offer a glimmer of hope for Chiefs fans Wednesday.
The Chiefs’ defensive star hasn’t been with the team throughout the offseason and preseason games, nor has he been at any practices leading up to Thursday’s first regular season game.
The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract and holding out for a new contract extension. He has already acquired $2 million in fines for missing workouts and training camp.
But he did make a public appearance Wednesday, surprising sick children and their families at the Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City.
Before his visit with Ronald McDonald House families, Jones took questions from reporters about his contract dispute.
Jones declined to comment on where contract negotiations stand currently with the Chiefs but said he hopes it all gets worked out.
“It’s always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I’ve said that multiple times from social media platforms, from interviews,” Jones said.
“They know where my position is at, and hopefully we can get something worked out long term.”
Jones said he’s been in Miami during the offseason and has been training and working out every day.
“I’ll be ready to go when the time comes,” he said.
He’s also been keeping in contact with his teammates, but the Chiefs DT said he misses the comradery aspect while not being with the team.
When asked about criticism that he’s letting his team down, Jones’ response was “How? That’s what I gotta ask. How have I let them down?”
“It’s just like when you have a job and you ask for an extension, right, you ask for a raise, right? You’re not letting anyone down. Who are you letting down for asking your boss for a raise?”
Jones said when you take the personal feelings out of it, it’s easier to understand. He also said he knows everyone has an opinion and not everyone will like his decision, but he can’t make everyone happy.
The DT said he’s still on contract for this season, and he’s just taking it day by day. As for future seasons, that’s a decision for Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt to make.
Earlier Wednesday, Hunt told FOX4 he doesn’t know if Jones will play this week.
“We love Chris Jones both as a person and a player,” Hunt said. “I don’t know that he will be on the field this Thursday, but we look forward to him joining our team soon and getting him back on the field.”
Jones did say, however, that if the contract somehow worked out Wednesday, he’d be out on the field Thursday night.
“I could be playing. I could be on the sidelines. I don’t know. We’ll see tomorrow,” he said.
After taking questions, Jones surprised children at the Ronald McDonald House for a Bic Mac lunch and to sign Chiefs flags for families.
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) September 6, 2023