Likely the most talented free agent on the defensive side of the ball, defensive lineman Chris Jones is a priority for the Super Bowl champions.
Any doubt on that front was quelled by Chiefs general manager Brett Veach on Tuesday when he addressed the media amid the hubbub of the NFL Scouting Combine, indicating he will do all he can to re-sign Jones and adding his hope is to have wide receiver Sammy Watkins back in a K.C. uniform, as well.
"It’s certainly a priority for us," Veach said of re-signing Jones, the No. 2 free agent via NFL.com. "Sometimes these things take time to work through. As you mentioned, the franchise tag is something that we have the ability to use. We’d certainly would like to see if we can work something out with him and I think the tandem of Chris Jones and Frank Clark is something any team would want and we’re going to work hard to see if we can get that done."
Veach added there are meetings on the agenda during combine week with Jones’ camp.
Meetings with Watkins’ representatives are also on the docket, as the wide receiver is due a $13.75 million base salary in the upcoming final year of his contract and has been a perceived cut candidate. The GM’s goals in the meetings concerning Watkins are to bridge a gap in a way that enables the wideout to return to the reigning AFC West champions’ roster.
"It’s always a challenge, but I think when you have guys as talented as Chris and these other players, you’re gonna turn over every scenario and just see what exactly can be done," Veach said. "It’s a challenge, but it’s not impossible."
Jones is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he notched nine sacks a year after tallying 15.5. He also played a huge role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over the 49ers, drawing acclaim as he took over the line of scrimmage at crucial points of the ballgame.
Among the flurry of quandaries posed to Veach, he also said he has meetings with each of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ backups — Matt Moore and Chad Henne — this week and that "I anticipate one of those guys being back."
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