KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2023 NFL Draft has concluded and the Chiefs added seven new players in the hometown event.
But now that the dust has settled, Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach has shifted his focus to other important needs for the future of the team, including a new deal for defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is currently slated to be a free agent in 2024.
“Until you get a deal done, I don’t know—initially—if you’re ever confident with anything, but I think that’s on the list of things to do,” Veach said.
The Chiefs are looking to get a deal done before training camp, and it will likely take some time.
“We’ll spend time, and obviously we have a great relationship with Chris and his staff, so we’ll get to work and see what we can do, and those things usually take a little bit of time. We have a little bit of a runway now until the start of training camp to hopefully get something done.”
Jones has anchored the Chiefs over the years and is coming off of a career year where he earned a First-Team All-Pro selection, NFL Defensive Player of the Year finalist, tied a career-high with 15.5 sacks and was a huge catalyst in the Chiefs AFC Championship victory, wreaking havoc in the backfield all game.
Veach also discussed the contract and role of running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, whose 2022 season was hampered by injuries.
“We’re excited for Clyde this season, actually the first guy I saw in the building today, in tremendous shape. He’s a good football player, he’s gonna help us out here,” Veach said.
“That’s another thing we’ll get addressed here soon. We’re excited to have him back in the building today and look forward to — hopefully — a healthy 2023 campaign for him.”
The deadline to decline or exercise Edwards-Helaire’s fifth-year option is Tuesday, and Veach seemed uncertain Monday. But Tuesday passed without any news.
Kansas City’s running back room will look the same as last season with Isiah Pacheco as the likely starter. The Chiefs are also expected re-sign running back Jerick McKinnon, who was very effective in the pass game.
Edwards-Helaire played in 10 games during the 2022 season, notching six total touchdowns and 302 yards.