One of the biggest offseason storylines has been the seeming impasse between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and their star defensive player, Chris Jones, in . Jones is headed into the final season of the four-year, $80 million contract he signed back in 2020, and is due a base salary of $19.5 million this year. He held out through the entirety of training camp looking for a new deal, and with no such deal materializing, the Chiefs placed him on the reserve/did not report list for the start of the 2023 season.
One person who seems at least slightly concerned about this development: star tight end Travis Kelce. During the podcast he co-hosts with his brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce, Travis provided an update on Jones, while also seemingly pleading with his teammate to report to the team and try to win another Super Bowl.
Here's a transcript of the conversation regarding Jones' status, via NFL Media:
Jason: "Is there any updates on Chris Jones? How he's handling this situation? Do you want to talk about it?
Travis: "Ah man, Chris, can you please come back? You're really scaring me, man. 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. And I don't know what the situation is."
Jason: "Well, I think the situation is you guys aren't paying him enough, and I think he should hold off as long as possible, especially past, when do we play? Week 10. Week 10!"
Travis: "Jason, f--k you, I'm trying to get him back in the office."
Jason: "Don't let them do this to you, Chris. You need to hold strong, my man! For all the other D-tackles in the NFL. You cannot take this injustice. You must stay (away) through at least the Eagles game, and then you can come back. I think that's the appropriate time -- it's just a coincidence."
Travis: "He's the best defensive player in the league right now. He's deserving of all the money in the world. Chris, I love you, please come back. Now."
And here's the video, for those interested in watching the full exchange and making the call for themselves regarding whether or not Travis was joking or serious about his level of concern.
For what it's worth, Jones has previously stated that he is willing to hold out through at least Week 8, which would be two weeks before the alluded-to Chiefs vs. Eagles matchup in Week 10. Jones is reportedly looking for a contract that places his average annual value closer to Aaron Donald than to the interior defensive linemen who signed extensions this offseason.
Heading into his age-30 campaign, it's hard to say Jones isn't deserving of a major deal, but Kansas City has shown that it is willing to try to get by without star players like Tyreek Hill, and it might be willing to at least attempt to do the same without Jones.