Chris Jones didn’t let his contract waiver stop him from enjoying the Kansas City Chiefs’ season opener.
The Chiefs’ All-Pro defensive tackle was at the team’s game against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, but not as an active player. Instead, he watched the game from a suite at Arrowhead Stadium.
Jones opted out of the defending champion Chiefs’ entire training camp and is reportedly seeking $30 million per year.
With the suspension now extending into the regular season, Jones faces millions of dollars in lost salary and fines while also seeking one of the largest contracts for a defensive player ever. Jones said last month that he was willing to wait until Week 8, which would add up to about $8 million in lost game checks from his $19.5 million base salary OverTheCap.
Among defensive players, only Aaron Donald and recently signed Nick Bosa earn more than the $30 million Jones is seeking. The 29-year-old Jones could well be worth it, as he is clearly the best defender on last year’s Super Bowl champions.
Jones set a career high with 15.5 sacks last season, as well as 44 combined tackles, 17 tackles for loss, four passes defended and two forced fumbles. His sack total was by far the highest in the NFL among interior defensive linemen.