Patrick Mahomes suggests the Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for their season opener as if star defensive tackle Chris Jones won't be on the field. Jones, who made the First-Team All-Pro in 2022, is currently holding out as he wants an improved contract.
In 2023, Jones is set to earn $19.5 on the final year of the $80 million, four-year contract he signed with the Chiefs in 2020. With an average payment of $20 million per year, Jones is currently the ninth highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL.
The Chiefs are opening the season by playing against the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football. “At this point, you just prepare to play the game with the guys that are in the building, and let the front office and stuff handle that.
But we’ve got a tough test with the Detroit Lions. We’re gonna try to focus on how we can win with the guys that are here," Mahomes said, via Pro Football Talk.
Mahomes doesn't want to comment on Jones' contract
Mahomes acknowledged that Jones is a special talent and that the defensive tackle has played a major role in the team's two Super Bowl wins in recent years.
But when it comes to Jones' contract, Mahomes doesn't want to be getting into that stuff. “I know how special it is here, and I know how special of a thing we’ve got going. I stay out of contract stuff. But I know I’ve been lucky to be in this place, and I want to go out there and win as many championships as I can," Mahomes said.
Unless Jones makes a last-minute change of heart, the Chiefs will be one of their key defensive players when they kick off their 2023 season on Thursday. It remains to be seen how long Jones will hold out.