3 moves the Chiefs won't be able to make if they franchise tag Chris Jones

Paying Chris Jones should be a top priority for the Kansas City Chiefs, but it may come at a price.

Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
1 of 3

Fresh off their second Super Bowl championship in as many years, the Kansas City Chiefs might be up against it when it comes to the salary cap. Although they have roughly $24 million in available space, which is good enough for 17th in the league and over $5 million better than league average, they have to figure out what to do about Chris Jones. He is their best defensive player on the team.

Jones played last season on a one-year deal worth $19.5 million. While one would think that Jones should spend his entire NFL career playing in Kansas City, it doesn't always work that way. The idea should be for general manager Brett Veach and Jones' representation to come to a multi-year extension. How the contract is written will be paramount in the Chiefs being able to keep other guys.

See, the last thing the Chiefs will want to do is go through the same song and dance with Jones again. Having him be slapped with the franchise tag would be so detrimental in the Chiefs being able to retain other marquee free agents of theirs potentially going to market. Basically, using the franchise tag on Jones would be a waste because it would mean so many others will be walking out.

Here are three Chiefs players who are good as gone if Jones were to somehow be franchise tagged.

3. Willie Gay Jr. would be another ideal candidate to get the franchise tag

There are several players who will be hitting free agency this spring off last year's Kansas City roster. One of whom shares the same alma mater of Chris Jones himself in Mississippi State University. That would be linebacker Willie Gay Jr. To me, this playmaker carries a ton of value on the open market because of his instincts and playmaking abilities. However, Kansas City did draft Nick Bolton recently.

If Jones were to be extended to a long-term deal, that would free up an ascending player like Gay to have the franchise tag available to be used. Because he does not play one of the more valuable positions in the league, that number would be much cheaper than tagging a defensive linemen, a wide receiver or a defensive back. You see why tagging Jones is a no good, very bad idea, right?

While I am not sure that the Chiefs are even going to use the franchise tag this offseason, slapping Jones with it probably indicates that Gay will be walking. It may be cheaper to just draft another linebacker than pay Gay slightly above market value for him in his free agency. I would not agree with this, but in a league defined by a hard salary cap, it is getting even harder to cut corners around it.

Not to say tagging Jones means Gay is as good as gone, but it certainly complicates retaining him.