Detroit Lions have a notable tie to Chris Jones should they choose to pursue him in free agency

Chris Jones is one of the top free agents this year, regardless of position, and the Detroit Lions have a noteworthy tie that could help them woo him.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Detroit Lions enter the offseason in good position. They have over $50 million in cap space now, after this week's release of Tracy Walker, with few major needs to fill.

The Lions need to add some pass rush help this offseason, one way or another. There are some all-in moves out there as possibilities, and somewhere in that mix is defensive tackle Chris Jones. Jones can be franchise tagged by the Kansas City Chiefs, but the idea he'll be allowed to hit the open market is not a reach.

The Lions seriously pursuing Jones, knowing the hefty cost and their general priorities as an organization, is a big question. But right now, there's a "never say never" element" to it.

Jones has shown no signs of slowing down as he nears his 30th birthday. So while his absolute peak might be behind him, he should stay productive through the length of a multi-year contract.

2024 NFL Free Agency: Detroit Lions have a notable tie to Chris Jones

Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated, on the idea the Chiefs don't tag him, named the Lions as a potential landing spot for Jones.

"After collapsing in the NFC championship game, the Lions will be more motivated than ever. And this offseason, Detroit has an estimated $45 million in cap space. While some of that money will be earmarked to pay Amon-Ra St. Brown and Aidan Hutchinson in the near future, Jones is an intriguing option here. Coach Dan Campbell loves to build along the lines, and the idea of having Hutchinson, Jones and Alim McNeill along the defensive front will be awfully enticing."

Beyond the obvious financial consideration and on-field upgrade to the defensive line, Verderame reminded everyone of a tie the Lions have to Jones.

"Additionally, John Dorsey worked as the Chiefs general manager when Jones was drafted in 2016 by Kansas City. He's now in Detroit's front office and could help work as a conduit between Jones and general manager Brad Holmes."

Dorsey could indeed be a important connector for Jones for the Lions. It would make sense for general manager Brad Holmes to seek some insight from Dorsey, and Dorsey could help sell Jones on the Lions' plan.

But it all starts with the Lions actually having a pursuit of Jones on their radar. On a surface level they should, though there are factors that can diminish the idea very quickly. They are also the only team who has the general manager who drafted Jones working in their front office, and that can't be written off as nothing right now.

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