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An ESPN writer suggested that trading Jones to the Colts for their second round pick — and more — could be a good deal for both teams.
It’s the season of speculation.
In an ESPN In$ider article published on Friday, a panel of NFL experts made educated guesses about NFL trades that could benefit both teams. Unsurprisingly, one of them came up with a trade scenario involving Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.
According to national NFL writer Dan Graziano, the Indianapolis Colts should trade for Jones.
The Chiefs trade Chris Jones to the Colts for a second-round pick and more. I don’t think the Chiefs are going to give Jones the contract he wants, so I see him as a franchise-and-trade candidate a la Frank Clark and Dee Ford last year. The Colts love their second-round picks and might not want to part with one, and they don’t love to spend big in free agency. But they also play in a division with Derrick Henry and Leonard Fournette, and they need to spend some money this year to get to the CBA’s mandated salary floor. If there’s a place I can see Colts general manager Chris Ballard spending big money, it’s up front on one of the lines.
In a lot of ways, this would be a smart move for both teams.
In a perfect world, the Chiefs would simply spend whatever it took to retain Jones with long-term deal — but when the Chiefs’ actual world revolves around having quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the roster for his entire career, that might not be possible. And with only five picks in April’s NFL draft, even a second-round pick for the Chiefs could make a huge difference. A year ago, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach scored big with picks 56 and 63. What could he do with picks 32, 44 and 63?
That said, there’s still a sliver of hope the Chiefs could find a way to keep Jones, whom Pro Football Focus rated as the team’s best defensive player in 2019.
It all depends on the timeline of Mahomes’ contract. If the two sides want to get a deal locked up right away, that could leave little room for the Chiefs to maneuver. But if — as it has been suggested — they want to wait to see if the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could give them an environment where they could make a better deal for everyone involved, that could potentially push Mahomes’ contract extension into the next cycle. The NFL and the NFLPA want to get the new CBA in place before the season begins — the current deal expires after 2020 — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will.