Source: Chiefs place tag on sack leader Jones

NFL

The Kansas City Chiefs were unable to reach a long-term deal with Chris Jones before Monday’s deadline to use the franchise tag, so they placed the tag on their star defensive lineman, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Tag numbers have not been released yet, but last season defensive ends got $17.128 million and defensive tackles $15.209 million. Jones has played both positions.

General manager Brett Veach said at the scouting combine last month that the Chiefs are open to using the franchise tag on Jones, but that the reigning Super Bowl champions would like to agree to a long-term deal with the Pro Bowl lineman.

Jones, who turns 26 in July, led the Chiefs in sacks in each of the past two seasons.

He predicted in training camp in 2018 that he would lead the league in sacks, and although he didn’t, he got close. Jones’ 15.5 sacks were third in the league behind Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt.

Jones failed to register a sack in Super Bowl LIV but still played a big role in the Chiefs’ victory. His pressure on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo forced an interception in the second quarter. Jones also knocked down three of Garoppolo’s passes.

He has 33 sacks, 2 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles in 61 career games.

Jones didn’t participate in the Chiefs’ offseason practices and workouts in 2019 in the hope of getting a contract extension. It didn’t happen and Jones reported to training camp on time. He played the season in the final year of the contract he signed in 2016 as the Chiefs’ second-round draft pick from Mississippi State.

ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.

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