Progress on the Chris Jones-extension front has been nil, but Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is staying positive.
Speaking to reporters eight days ahead of the Chiefs kicking off their and the NFL's season against the visiting Detroit Lions, Veach was optimistic his four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman would return in time to make the game.
"We're certainly hopeful for that," Veach said, via team transcript. "We have been in communication, and actually just the last few days, we've been in more communication. We're going to continue to press on and work hard."
Jones hasn't offered much in the update department outside of cryptic social media posts.
A week after hinting that he would sit out until Week 8, Jones posted a picture in an Instagram story in which he was sitting atop a Gatorade cooler at a Chiefs game, separated from his teammates on the bench.
All signs point to Jones wanting to separate himself from a litany of defensive linemen who have recently joined him in the $20-million-per-year club.
The New York Giants' Dexter Lawrence, the Washington Commanders' Daron Payne, who each received $90 million deals, the Tennessee Titans' Jeffery Simmons ($94 million) and the New York Jets' Quinnen Williams ($96 million) surpassed Jones with their 2023 extensions. Of course they all trail the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald, whose current three-year, $95 million deal puts him at $31.66 million a season.
Entering the final season of his current four-year, $80 million pact, Jones is looking for a big bump.
Veach has made it known he believes Jones "deserves a big contract," but just how big remains to be seen.
Jones, who's accrued fines of $50,000 per day for missing training camp, has won two Super Bowls with the Chiefs and is coming off an All-Pro season.
There's no shortage of esteem for the defensive standout, it's just a matter of coming to terms on how large a final number the parties can agree to.
"(There is) a lot of respect on both sides of this thing," Veach said. "It's been obviously well stated how we feel about Chris, and he feels the same way. Again, we're just going to keep working on this thing, and we're looking forward to next Thursday and hopefully he's in the lineup and he's ready to go."