Chris Jones is not taking the field for the Chiefs in Week 1, thanks to an ongoing holdout, but the star defensive lineman is in the building for Kansas City’s season opener, reserving a suite at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for Thursday night, according to NFL Media.
The All-Pro veteran has threatened to sit out half the 2023 campaign while seeking a new contract, but the Chiefs were aware he planned to attend their game against the Lions and “weren’t opposed to him being there.”
NBC Sports reported earlier that Jones would watch Thursday’s opener from his suite, adding that the 49ers’ recent extension of star pass rusher Nick Bosa could accelerate long-term contract talks between the two sides.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters this week there had been “no progress” in contract negotiations, with Jones reportedly seeking a deal worth at least $30 million per year. But the Super Bowl-champion lineman has remained in the area, hinting at a future with the club, even appearing at a recent Kansas City charity event and suggesting he’s ready to play as soon as a deal is ironed out.
Jones is technically under contract with the Chiefs through this season, due a $19.5M base salary in the last year of a four-year, $80M extension he signed in 2020. He’s been one of the game’s top interior pass rushers when on the field, racking up 56.5 sacks and 55 tackles for loss in his last five seasons, while finishing third in Defensive Player of the Year voting during K.C.’s 2022 title run.