Kansas City Chiefs star defensive lineman Chris Jones is back at practice, gearing up for the rest of the 2023 campaign after holding out Week 1.
Jones said Wednesday he’s “super pleased with how it turned out” after agreeing to a new one-year contract worth up to $25 million with incentives. The All-Pro defensive tackle added that he hopes sides can strike a multi-year deal in 2024.
“I’m glad to be back this year…I’m hoping we can get something worked out after the year for the long term,” Jones told reporters Wednesday, via Jared Koller of KCTV5. “I’ve reiterated multiple times I plan to play for the Kansas City Chiefs for the long haul of my career. That doesn’t change because of the past situation.”
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Jones added that while he held out not to be a distraction, he missed the time around teammates this offseason.
“When you have a lot of new guys, it’s just kind of tough to be away, especially in the D-line room. Building that chemistry is important to be successful as a group,” Jones said. “But, those are decisions you have to live with. I wouldn’t probably change it. But I’m grateful for how it turned out. Thankful for the Hunt family and Brett Veach and coach (Andy) Reid working with my team closely to make sure that we come to terms that we both can agree on.”
Jones said things never got personal with Veach or Reid during negotiations, and he’s happy to dive back into the season.
“Listen, I’m happy to be back. The business aspect, you can’t get personal into it,” he said. “When you get personal, things can turn bad. I never took it personal.”
Jones and the Chiefs will be back at the negotiating table next offseason, but for now, the DL is centered on getting things back on track in 2023.
“My focus right now is being the best me I can be for this team, for this defense,” he said. “Being the best player on this defense, being the best player in the league, and anything less, I’d be a disappointment toward myself. So my focus right now is being the best me I can be.”
The Chiefs (0-1) are on the road in Week 2 to face the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0).
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