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My Open Letter to Chris Jones

With the start of the NFL season just 16 days away, the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans await the return of beloved star, Chris Jones. Though he’s a Master of social media that happens to be the best defender in the NFL today, Chiefs Kingdom can be fickle about holdouts even with their superstar players. So, here’s my plea to Mr. Jones to come home now.

Dear Chris Jones,

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You probably don’t remember the conversation we had a few nights before Super Bowl LIV in Miami.  You were sitting at a restaurant with all your defensive linemates. As an observer, it was great watching the banter between you and the boys, especially Terrell Suggs, who kept telling the young kids to make sure to get their rest and don’t stay out too late.

As you walked past me after dinner, I reached out, and you shook my hand. You gave me that signature smile, and I said, “You go finish this.”  In response, you said to me with conviction, “We will.”

At that point in time, I was in the grips of the 50-year Super Bowl drought that ate my soul with waves of disappointment decade after decade. You see I’ve been a die-hard Chiefs fan my entire life. In my very early years as a Chiefs fan, I led a very charmed existence.

Living in Prairie Village, Kansas was great, but I grew up on the same street as Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame Head Coach, Hank Stram and Hall of Fame Linebacker, Bobby Bell, who to this day we remain friends. In fact, before the Stram family left Kansas City, Hank and his wife, Phyliss were good friends with my parents, and during his coaching tenure, our families spent a lot of time together.

In fact, it was Hank Stram who consoled me the day after the Chiefs lost their epic Christmas day battle with the Miami Dolphins because I was so distraught. He gave me small plastic Chiefs football that I proudly display in my office. Ironically though, that game would be the start of a five-decade odyssey of frustration and heartbreak, that finally ended when you and your teammates won Super Bowl LIV.

You see to some degree we are connected.  I believe we share the same Chiefs blood that fuels our passion for football. Ever since you embraced Roger Goodell the night you were selected 37th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, and then sat on the sidelines in tears after sacking Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback, Joe Burrow late in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game, I cried with you.

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Well, that ended in the AFC Championship game, and going forward in a Chiefs uniform, those sack totals will only rise.  Yet, you never backed away from those questions, you owned the answers like a champion.  But I suspect, the day of that game, you already knew that streak would die once and forever.

It was at this point, I said to myself, this man will never don another NFL uniform. He will be a Kansas City Chief for life. Further, I remain convinced your name will be on the ring of honor in the NEW Arrowhead stadium someday, and you will be in Canton where you belong.

Even though present circumstances appear bleak to some within the Chiefs Kingdom, I never begrudge a man who wants to get paid. I understand what you’re trying to do with becoming the highest-paid defensive player of your generation. I get the difference between a few million bucks per year seems trivial to the average person, but it’s important to you and it’s deserved.

You see, I’ve admired your career to date with pride. I remember your first preseason game, and I thought how this guy got out of the first round made no sense. You dominated in your first snaps, and you’ve done the same ever since winning a pair of Super Bowl rings.  

Through the years, I’ve watched every press conference in which you spoke, and the image of you and Patrick Mahomes in the winning locker room after Super Bowl LVII bantering about winning more together made me gleam with Chiefs pride. I felt then as I do now, this team is building a dynasty and a legacy that could be unmatched by another other NFL franchise.

Yet at the core of all that emotion and pride, that gleam stemmed from the fact, you kept answering questions about the inability to register a sack in the postseason.

Well, that ended in the AFC Championship game, and going forward in a Chiefs uniform, those sack totals will only rise.  Yet, you never backed away from those questions, you owned the answers like a champion.  But I suspect, the day of that game, you already knew that streak would die once and forever.

So here we are some 16 (Len Dawson) days away from the start of the regular season. As victor of the Super Bowl, you get a chance to celebrate with your teammates, the Chiefs nation, and all those die-hards that bleed KC red in a celebratory fashion that only one team gets to do each year by hoisting the Super Bowl banner at Arrowhead prior to your match against the Detroit Lions. I’d hate for you to miss that.

As far as the next step, I have zero advice for you because I’m not in your shoes. I don’t speak to General Manager, Brett Veach nor your agents the Katz Brothers. From all accounts, based on the ease of your last contract negotiation with the Chiefs three years ago, the relationship with all parties is a good one.

In fact, the mere mention at the ESPY’s about your affection for Brett Veach gave me and all Chiefs fans hope, this would be a very happy ending for all sides. I still believe that. I really do. Call me an eternal optimist, but with the one-year anniversary of the passing of my childhood hero and friend for five decades, Len Dawson in two days, I’m feeling emotional and sentimental this morning.

So, I’ll leave you with this Mr. Jones, I hope to see you in two weeks coming out of the tunnel at Arrowhead with your teammates, where the Chiefs Kingdom will embrace you as they have always done so in the past, and share a tear with you when they hoist the Super Bowl LVII banner atop Arrowhead.

In the end, Kansas City is your home, and the Chiefs are indeed your forever team!  

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9 Responses

  1. Good article that comes from the heart of a true fan of football KC style. We want you to stay here. Hope you have enough compassion for this city that gives you everything including respect.

  2. You are the best and I hope you’ll reconsider and decide to play until you retire to be the legend

    1. Dear Mr. Chris Jones,
      It is with the same intense heartfelt compassion I plead to you to stay with KC, your fans loves you and our Chiefs. We understand the value you are to the team. I pray that an agreement can be accomplished for the good of both you and the Chiefs.
      Forever Chiefs-

  3. I wish you would just go ahead and piper this team. Not everyone gets exactly what I want but I’m sure they want you to still be there. You’re going to make a lot of money if you stay there, but you won’t get it at some other place. Do the right thing to stay with the Chiefs because I really want you to but everybody to get the same amount of money at one time but you will get that money..

  4. Admire Chris and his ability to play his position but also it takes 11 men to take the field and make a defense. I know there is only so much money available for a team and unless you are the quarterback it is impossible to pay every great player on the team. What a person looks to do is get a good contract and invest wisely. There have been many players who get overpaid and are broke in 3 years. Use the education you have and build a legacy!

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