Chiefs Rumors: L’Jarius Sneed betrayal, Mike Evans vs. Chris Jones, MVS future

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Chiefs Rumors: Insider suggests prioritizing Mike Evans over Chris Jones

Re-sign Chris Jones. That's probably written over top of the door in Brett Veach's office at the Chiefs facilities right now much like the "Play Like A Champion Today" sign at Notre Dame -- at least for the 2024 offseason.

The defensive game-wrecker who missed Week 1 amid a contract holdout before agreeing to an incentive-laden new deal for the 2023 season with Kansas City is now set to become an unrestricted free agent. And most have agreed that retaining him is absolutely crucial for the Chiefs' burgeoning dynasty and, more specifically, the sustained success of Steve Spagnuolo's defense.

One NFL insider, however, offered an alternative. But whether there's merit to that or not is another issue entirely.

ESPN insider Jeff Darlington dropped a blazing-hot take on Get Up this week that, instead of breaking the bank to retain Jones, Kansas City should pursue free agent wide receiver Mike Evans on the open market, or perhaps by way of trade if the Bucs franchise tag Evans (though that appears unlikely given Antoine Winfield Jr.'s impending free agency as well).

Here was his rationale.

"I would rather Mike Evans in this offense than Chris Jones on this defense," Darlington said. "This is a team that redefined themselves from one year to the next... they've got to put weapons around Mahomes. They can't fall into this trap where they believe they can just win Super Bowls year after year without weapons." 

There is no question that the Chiefs need to upgrade at wide receiver. Rashee Rice emerged as a long-term option throughout his rookie campaign in 2023, but there is truly no one to feel confident in on the roster at the position beyond that looking ahead to the 2024 season. Evans would obviously fix that.

But the notion of foregoing the retention of Jones in order to land Evans makes little sense. Sure, they can't fall into the trap of thinking receiver doesn't matter -- they also are a substantially less threatening defense without Chris Jones on the field. Moreover, this is a 2024 NFL Draft class that is exceptionally rich and deep at receiver, but perhaps far less so at defensive tackle. It'd be far easier to upgrade that position cheaply with a crop of rookies than it would be to replace Jones.

The thinking from Darlington here isn't completely off-base, but the conclusion might be.