Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones is one of the best second-round draft steals of the last five years. Yet, despite developing one of their very own into a top pass-rusher in the AFC, KC doesn't appear willing to pay up as the deadline to do so rapidly approaches.
Jones had 15.5 sacks last season, and the outlook of the Chiefs d-line in 2019 doesn't look promising if they can't appease their best overall talent. Especially after trading Dee Ford to San Francisco, KC needs Jones to replicate his incredible stats from last year if they hope to shield a questionable secondary from the likes of Philip Rivers and Derek Carr.
Instead, they're clutching their purses.
Jones is scheduled to make just $1.2 million in base salary in 2019 despite his gaudy numbers. At just 25 years old, now is the time for Jones to cash in and the Chiefs to be more than willing to issue him that long-term deal. The longer KC waits, the more they flirt with disaster, or Jones out-earning their current projections.
Yes, teams often get in trouble by giving players leverage after one successful season. But Jones has 24 sacks since he was drafted in 2016 out of Mississippi State and is rapidly trending upward. To upset Jones now, as he enters his prime, isn't setting up a promising outlook for a future at Arrowhead moving forward.
Jones is a monster at one of the premium positions in the modern NFL. Pay the man, before it's too late.