Despite ongoing contract negotiations in hopes of landing a new deal, Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones is reporting to St. Joseph.
According to multiple reports, Jones was set to report to Missouri Western State University for training camp Friday ahead of the team’s first practice Saturday.
Jones didn’t participate in any voluntary workouts, OTAs or mandatory minicamp, opting to remain in Miami for individual workouts most of the summer.
He did post a picture with his son boarding an airplane Tuesday but didn’t indicate where he was flying to.
Jones’ agents, Jason and Michael Katz, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “He knows his value and if he has to play out his deal in order to reach free agency, then that’s what he will do. For now, he’s focused on winning a Super Bowl for Kansas City.”
Jones is in the final year of his four-year rookie deal and leading the team with 15.5 sacks. He is set to make $1.2 million after recording 40 tackles, forcing two fumbles and snagging an interception. He hasn’t missed a game in his three NFL seasons.
Jones is reportedly seeking a deal similar to or greater than that for newly signed Frank Clark, who inked a five-year, $104 million deal this offseason.
Jones was forced to show up to training camp by Aug. 6 to refrain from losing an accrued year toward free agency. The Chiefs have the option of placing the franchise tag on Jones after this season.
He will have catching up to do under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and his 4-3 scheme, which will greatly benefit from Jones’ versatility on the defensive line.
Head coach Andy Reid said Tuesday the Chiefs hoped their star defensive lineman would report on time.
“Our people have talked with Chris’ people and there’s been communication there,” Reid said. “And so, we’ll just see whether he’s here or not here. We obviously want him here, and he probably wants to be here too.
“I’ve said this before, you miss days, you miss days,” Reid added. “This is a unique situation in that we’ve had a change in defense and so on. It’s probably beneficial to be here.”
Patrick Mahomes elaborated on hoping to get all his teammates to town to begin building the rare chemistry the Chiefs get as one of a few teams to still travel for camp.
“It’s a brotherhood and we’re excited that we get to go out there and just build with each other and get better together,” Mahomes said.