July 1 (UPI) — Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones hinted on Twitter that he could skip the 2020 NFL season if he doesn’t get a new contract from the Super Bowl champions.
Jones posted his comment Tuesday on the social media platform. The 6-foot-7, 310-pound defender responded to a tweet on an NFL Network report, which said Jones wants at least $20 million annually from the Chiefs.
“Or I won’t play,” Jones responded.
Jones also referenced New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell in the tweet. Bell had a holdout in 2018 while he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He turned down a contract offer and was designated as the Steelers’ franchise tag player before he opted to skip the entire season and become a free agent the next off-season. He then signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March 2019.
The Chiefs placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jones in March. They have until July 15 to agree to a long-term contract with the defensive lineman. Jones will play for $16.1 million in 2020 if he signs his franchise tag tender and reports to the team.
Jones, 25, had 36 total tackles, 20 quarterback hits, nine sacks, eight tackles for a loss, four passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 13 games last season for the Chiefs. The second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft also made his first Pro Bowl in 2019. Jones had a career-high 15.5 sacks in 16 games in 2018.
Bell and Jones each responded to criticism they received on social media after Jones’ tweet about a possible missed 2020 season.
“I just know what my worth is and how to read and understand contracts … Jones knows what he’s doing,” Bell tweeted.
NFL team facilities remain closed to players — who don’t need medical treatment — amid the coronavirus pandemic. Teams are expected to report to training camp in late July.