KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs entered the final three days of their offseason program on Tuesday, and defensive end Chris Jones opted to skip the mandatory minicamp as he flexes his contractual muscles in an effort to land an extension.
But according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Chiefs front office doesn't plan to negotiate with Jones until he rejoins the team. That turns the opening of training camp in late July as a deadline for Jones to return the club or run the risk of missing time with the team.
Head coach Andy Reid and his staff have been mum on the status of Jones during offseason program. Cornerback Kendall Fuller said he hasn't spoken to Jones, but he and other teammates understand his situation.
“We know they're looking out – they're always looking out for their best interest,” Fuller said. “I'm sure Chris has been talking to the team and things like that. I think as players in the locker room, you kind of just stay out of it, let stuff play out.”
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens said he doesn't think the lost time for Jones makes a huge difference, even with the team introducing new players and a new scheme on defense.
“He's a smart guy,” Hitchens said. “I'm not getting too much into with Chris and what not. But he's a smart guy and training camp is four or five weeks. He should be able to get it down by then. But the guys that's here, we're just going to keep building and just become a better football team.”
Players skipping the mandatory minicamp face potential fines the escalate each day. The club can dock Jones $14,775 for skipping Tuesday. The fines increase to $29,550 for day two and $44,325 for day three, which means Jones could lose $88,650 for missing the entire camp. He's scheduled to make nearly $1.2 million in the final season of his four-year rookie contract.
Fuller said the team will be ready to welcome back Jones when the standoff ends.
“Once he gets back in, it's open arms welcoming him back in,” Fuller said.