The window for teams to assign the franchise or transition tags opened Thursday and will end March 12. The window was pushed back two days due to collective bargaining agreement talks between owners and players.
The franchise tender would keep Jones from becoming an unrestricted free agent while offering him a non-negotiable one-year contract worth the average of the top five player salaries at his position. The defensive tackle franchise tag is projected to be worth $15.5 million in 2020, though the NFL has yet to announce exact values.
Jones has developed into a star since being selected by Kansas City in the second round of the 2016 draft. He posted nine sacks over 13 games during 2019 and had 15.5 sacks in a full season's worth of contests the year prior. The 25-year-old was dominant at times in the Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV victory despite playing with an injured calf.
The Chiefs reportedly hope to sign Jones to a long-term extension. They now have until 4 p.m. on July 15 to get a deal done without fear of a rival team swooping in and signing the Pro Bowler off the open market.
However, Kansas City is short on cap space entering the offseason and could be forced to part ways with certain veterans to make room for Jones and other moves. There has been plenty of chatter at the NFL combine in Indianapolis that the Chiefs could look to trade away players in an effort to clear salary off their 2020 books, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.