We're less than a week until the start of the NFL regular season and the Kansas City Chiefs have a problem: Their best defensive player, one of the best in the game, is holding out.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones has been holding out. Reports have said he wants $30 million per year. He has hinted he's willing to sit out until Week 8. This is all terrible for the Chiefs, whose defense with Jones is good but not great. Without him, it could get ugly.
The importance of Jones isn't lost on one of the team's other superstars. Tight end Travis Kelce begged Jones to end his holdout.
“Chris, can you please come back? You’re really scaring me," Kelce said on the "New Heights" podcast with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, via Pro Football Talk. “I don’t get it. You must know something that I don’t know because I just don’t get it. I really want to get another Super Bowl ring with you, brother. This is me bargaining you to just come back and play football for the Chiefs. Please, we need you. We need you bad.”
There's no question the Chiefs need Jones. He has been underrated for most of his career, but the Chiefs' latest run to a Super Bowl title helped bring Jones' dominance to the forefront. He is one of the best defensive linemen in the game.
Kansas City faces the Detroit Lions next Thursday night as the NFL season opens. If Jones isn't in the lineup, Kansas City will be vulnerable against a very good offense.
“He’s the best defensive player in the league right now," Kelce said on the podcast. "He’s deserving of all the money in the world. Chris, I love you, please come back. Now."
The Chiefs are days away from starting their Super Bowl defense. The fact that they could be without their best defensive player doesn't seem to be getting enough attention. But Kelce understands what it means.