Chris Jones has been the leader of the Kansas City Chiefs defense for several years now and constantly wreaks havoc every time he plays the LA Chargers. Last season the elite pass rusher recorded four combined sacks in two games against the Chargers.
Despite his value to the team, Jones is currently in a holdout with the Chiefs over his contract situation. Jones is in the last year of a contract that pays him favorably this season ($28.2 million cap hit according to Over The Cap) and is looking for an extension with the team.
Jones' holdout is getting dangerously close to the regular season and it looks like it might go deep into the season as well. When asked when Jones was going to show up on social media, the star pass rusher gave a very upfront answer: Week 8.
Jones then responded to another post saying that he could afford the fines of sitting out that long. If Jones' declaration comes true then the Chargers won't have to face him in the first game between the two AFC West rivals.
The Chargers may get to play the Chiefs without Chris Jones in Week 7.
A lot can happen between now and then but this would still be a massive advantage for the Bolts. Jones alone does not make up the entire Chiefs defense but he is certainly a crucial component that changes the entire dynamic of the game.
With an improved offensive line and a (hopefully) healthy offensive unit, the Chargers could really take advantage of a Chiefs defense that does not have Jones. It becomes a lot easier to outduel Patrick Mahomes and the elite Chiefs offense when Jones is not bursting through the pocket several times a game.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out for the Chiefs and how the team handles it. You cannot blame Kansas City at all for not wanting to pay Jones a premium price as he gets up there in age. However, he is still such an important member of a Chiefs team that might have the least talented roster of the Mahomes era.
Not having Jones during the 2023 season legitimately could be the difference between a 13-win season and an 11-win season. And for the Chargers, that could be the difference of actually having a chance to win the division or not having a chance.