Conflicting Reports Emerge on Superstar Free Agent Pass Rusher

Conflicting Reports Emerge on Superstar Free Agent Pass Rusher

Conflicting Reports Emerge on Superstar Free Agent Pass Rusher

All eyes will be on free agent Chris Jones over the next two months. The Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl in as many years, and they couldn’t have done it without their All-Pro defensive line collapsing the pocket. Following a lengthy offseason holdout, Jones returned to the Chiefs on a revised one-year contract and was perhaps the most crucial player on an excellent defense.

The Chiefs and Chris Jones found a temporary solution to their contract issues last year, but the free agent is about to enter the open market. It’s no secret that the Chiefs and Jones both want to be reunited. Head coach Andy Reid recently indicated that they’d “love” to have him back, while Jones himself said he’ll be back during the team’s parade rally.

However, the NFL is a business at the end of the day, and nothing’s going to get done if both sides can’t make the money work. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Chiefs will not sign impending free agent Chris Jones any time soon.

Conflicting reports emerge regarding free agent Chris Jones.

While Florio’s story does not provide specifics on the current state of the contract discussions, we can read between the lines to conclude that Chris Jones may become a free agent. The 2024 league year technically begins on March 13th, giving Kansas City less than a month to sign the two-time All-Pro.

The Chiefs could utilize the franchise tag to prevent Chris Jones from becoming a free agency, but this would be extremely costly. Kansas City presently has $23.7 million in cap space, and adding Jones would result in a cap charge of $32.16 million. The Chiefs would need to make a few cost-cutting moves before they’d even be able to tag Jones. Even then,  they probably wouldn’t have the financial flexibility to go after key free agents.

If Florio’s report is correct, then there is a good chance that Chris Jones will become a free agent. While the Chiefs will certainly do everything in their power to bring him back, the fact of the matter is that other teams could outbid Kansas City for his services.

Conflicting Reports Emerge on Superstar Free Agent Pass Rusher
Conflicting Reports Emerge on Superstar Free Agent Pass Rusher

Best Team Fits

Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders finished with the league’s second-worst record, but they are well-positioned to swiftly turn things around. This team can improve the quarterback position with the second-overall pick and the defense with its league-leading $83.54 million in cap space. Given the team’s loss of Montez Sweat and Chase Young, Chris Jones might be the top free agent target for a team that sorely needs to improve its pass rush.

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans advanced to the AFC Divisional Round with a rookie quarterback and a first-year head coach. Now that the framework for success has been established, it is time for this team to use its $65.4 million in cap room to develop a serious contender. Signing Chris Jones as a free agency would not only improve Houston, but it would also harm the greatest team in the AFC. If the Texans want to make the Super Bowl, they must defeat the Chiefs, and this is an excellent approach to accomplish that aim.

Chicago Bears

If the Chicago Bears play their cards correctly, they might be the league’s most improved club. Caleb Williams is taking over for Justin Fields and $70 million in cap space, the Bears have the resources to finally get back to the playoffs. The Bears already improved their pass rush with Montez Sweat, and adding Chris Jones as a free agent will give Chicago two fearsome pass rushers.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions boast a championship-caliber offense. However, they lack a defense capable of keeping them in low-scoring games. Fortunately, they have $48.1 million in cap space and should be able to sign a high-profile free agent such as Christopher Jones. Jones will not be able to cure all of the problems with this defense on his own, but he will go a long way toward making it more complete.

New Orleans Saints

On paper, the New Orleans Saints should be unable to afford a free agent such as Chris Jones. However, this team is the greatest in the league at finding ways to make money out of thin air, and if they want Jones hard enough, they’ll figure out how to do so again. Bryan Bresee did not do much of anything as a rookie, and New Orleans will need to improve their defensive front if they want to win the NFC South. With Dennis Allen’s job likely on the line, don’t be surprised if this team goes all-in with a big signing like this in 2024.

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