Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones did not appear at the team's mandatory minicamp practice this week.
Jones' absence can be boiled down to a simple conclusion: He'd like a contract extension. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is aware of this, and isn't bothered by Jones' absence.
"So, Chris wasn't here," Reid said on Thursday. "Kinda like last year, same type of deal. That's his choice. So, he chose not to be here. I'm sure he'll be at training camp."
Jones' desires aren't difficult to identify. Jones posted a video with a not-so-subtle message to the Chiefs this week, a clip of him sacking Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins and celebrating by making it rain imaginary dollars.
He's entering the final year of a four-year, $80 million extension signed in 2020, and is set to make $19.5 million in base salary. But Jones doesn't have any security beyond this season, turns 29 in July, and wants to cash in with one more big contract before that is no longer possible.
Reid is leaving the finances to the folks in the front office. His message to Jones is simple: "Make sure you're in shape" if and when he arrives for training camp.
"Yeah, I don't even deal with it. I let (Chiefs general manager) Brett (Veach) and his group deal with it," Reid said. "If you're there, you're there, and if you're not, we keep going. It's one of those deals. They'll work all that out. They're communicating, so that's important."
It sounds as if Reid isn't losing sleep over Jones' status, and because fines for absences are left to the team's discretion, it's not guaranteed the Chiefs are docking Jones for not being in Kansas City for the June sessions. Jones has done enough in his career to earn a pass regarding fines, if the Chiefs are willing to give him one.
This appears to be a matter of hammering out numbers and details of an extension for a player who had an excellent season in 2022, recorded a crucial sack in the AFC Championship Game and helped the Chiefs win their second Super Bowl in four years. Kansas City doesn't have a ton of cap room to work with at the moment -- less than $1 million, in fact -- but they likely don't need to be convinced of Jones' value to the team in 2023.
It should only be a matter of time before this issue is resolved and Jones is back to work.