KC Chiefs All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones delivers strong words, double birds

Blair Kerkhoff, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

Animated, funny, a little profane ... Chris Jones ran the gamut after the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up day two of a three-day mandatory mini-camp taking place before training camp begins next month.

Perhaps Jones was making up for lost time Wednesday. He didn’t attend this offseason practice, training camp or even the team’s opener while awaiting a contract extension.

Asked what he thought of the Chiefs re-signing several of his defensive line teammates — Mike Danna, Tershawn Wharton and Mike Pennel — Jones immediately stood up for Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, who had been given an “F” grade in the NFL Players Association’s annual team report cards.

The grade was assessed for failing to invest in facilities — and by members of the Chiefs, no less. But no matter: Jones had a message of his own, turning the Chiefs’ media room into an aviary.

“A double-bird for anybody who gave my owner an ‘F,’” said Jones, thrusting two middle fingers in the air.

Jones added the signings of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and defensive line coach Joe Cullen to Hunt’s list of offseason victories.

“He gets an A-plus in my book,” Jones said. “He was able to bring back a lot of guys from last year. So for me there’s a comfortability and appreciation because I know who I’m dealing with.”

Jones, who in March agreed to a five-year, $158.75 million contract that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive tackle, turned in his second straight All-Pro season for a defense that finished second in the NFL in average points and yards allowed. He racked up 10 1/2 sacks and earned Pro Bowl honors for the fifth time.


The Chiefs lost two defensive starters, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and linebacker Willie Gay Jr., and will work through the ACL injury defensive lineman Charles Omenihu sustained in the AFC Championship Game. But most of the team’s defense returns for a quest for a third straight Super Bowl victory.

“What’s motivating all is a three-peat,” Jones said. “I think we have the pieces to do it. I think we have the team to do it.”

A day earlier, star tight end Travis Kelce, who signed a two-year extension making him the game’s highest-paid player at his position, said the offseason is the time to explore post-football options. When asked if he’s started thinking about retirement, Jones was aghast.

“I don’t think about it, man,” Jones said. “I don’t even want to go there, (talking about) the ‘R’ word. Travis, he’s got four or five more years — what’s he talking about?

“We can’t let TK’s soul go. We have to retire together. Give me at least six more years.”


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