Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones was in Arrowhead Stadium for the team’s season opener — but he was watching the game from a very different vantage point.
Jones, who has been holding out in hopes of getting a contract extension, watched from a suite on Thursday night as the Chiefs hosted the Lions.
Kansas City was aware that he would be taking in the game from a box inside the stadium and wasn’t opposed to it, according to NFL Network correspondent James Palmer.
The NBC broadcast caught Jones in the crowd during the first quarter of the game.
The Chiefs are feeling a sizable hole with Jones not on the field due to the holdout.
Jones had 15.5 sacks and 29 quarterback hits while earning All-Pro honors last season.
Jones is hoping to earn closer to Aaron Donald’s $31.7 million per-season number.
But so far, a deal hasn’t been worked out between the two sides.
Jones’ current deal — which is its final year — has him at a base salary of $19.5 million.
“It’s just like when you’re at a job, and you ask for an extension, right, and you ask for a raise, right? You’re not letting anyone down,” Jones told reporters on Wednesday at a charity event at Ronald McDonald House, according to NFL.com.
“Who are you letting down for asking your boss for a raise, right? So when you take the personal feelings out of it, all I’m doing is asking for a raise.”
Jones said that he remained steadfast in his hope that he could be a member of the Chiefs for the rest of his career.
He also told reporters that he has been in touch with his teammates throughout his holdout.
“I’ve been in Miami, just training, staying focused, understanding that this is a process,” Jones said. “I’ve been keeping in contact with my teammates. I’m still working out every day, still doing similar things that they do in training camp.
“The camaraderie, we got a lot of new players, there’s that aspect of it. But I’ll be ready to go when that times calls.”
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