Last Thursday was the last day for the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp. After the conclusion of minicamp, the team will reconvene in late July for training camp. As a reminder, players are not permitted to do any live-action drills or any tackling. There were some notable nonparticipants today: starting running backs Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon were both out due to either being held out by the training staff or in Pacheco’s case, he’s recovering from off-season surgery. McKinnon assured fans and the media he will be ready to go for training camp: “Going into Year 10, older guy, so the thing about being here — the coaching staff, medical staff, everybody’s on the same page with coming up with a plan to make sure I’m good to go for the season.”Additionally, tight end Blake Bell and three defensive backs (cornerback Trent McDuffie, safety Mike Edwards, and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed were in attendance but did not participate.
But the most notable absence was star defensive tackle Chris Jones did not show up for minicamp as he seeks a contract extension. Players who have unexcused absences during the minicamp are subject to a fine of $15,515 per day they miss over the three-day period. As of now, the two sides have not made any progress on extension talks so let’s see if this extends into training camp. Head coach Andy Reid addressed the media this morning on that very topic: “Chris wasn’t here— kind of like last year, the same type of deal and it’s his choice”. Reid also had a simple message for Jones: stay in shape. It’s not unusual for players who are up for a contract extension to hold out of minicamp, but nonetheless, the longer it goes the worse it gets. I personally expect Jones to be part of training camp when it begins in late July whether he gets a contract extension or not. He’s too crucial to the Chiefs’ defense to not be there.
Other News and Notes
In other news, rookie receiver Rashee Rice was signed to his rookie contract and he is more than excited saying on Twitter “I LOVE IT HERE!!”. The deal is reportedly for four years and approximately $6.5 million. Rice will compete for reps as the number two receiver heading into 2023. I expect him to fit in right away and find a rhythm in the preseason so Chiefs fans will instantly see what he’s capable of.
Another guy we all need to pay attention to is Skyy Moore. The second-year receiver says he is “ready for whatever role they want me to do. Do it to the best of my ability in helping the team”. Last year as a rookie, Moore had 22 catches for 250 yards to go along with 86 total yards on 14 punt returns. How many reps he’ll be able to get, we will see as the season begins but I expect him to take a big leap forward this year and make a name for himself. This is his chance.