"This group can win a championship within four years, if we can keep them together," Jones told The Australian Newspaper.
Although Jones has given up on making the finals this season with the Reds sitting at the bottom of the ladder with just one win from the opening eight rounds, the experienced coach is aware of how quickly things can turn around.
"Sometimes an organisation has to hit rock bottom before it can improve. We have deep-seated issues that have to be rectified, a whole lot of issues that have to be rectified and, to be honest, we'll struggle to turn things around this year," Jones added.
"I'm extremely depressed, but there's the nucleus of something very good here. And the guys understand that. They're not stupid. They make stupid mistakes, but they're not stupid.
"If they want to be part of a team that's going somewhere, they'll stay. If not, they can leave and we'll find others to take their place."
Looking for positives after the Reds 21-19 loss to the Chiefs on Saturday, Jones was quick to praise full-back Andrew Walker.
"Andrew has been through the tough times and come out of it," Jones said.
"He's an example of what this team is about. He's got two years with us and then I hope he goes and does something special for the Aboriginal community."