The NFL has started seeing a trend where star players leave their teams for more money. Tyreek Hill left the Chiefs for the Miami Dolphins for more money via trade. Orlando Brown has now left Kansas City simply for money via free agency. This is the new normal in the NFL, but one Chiefs legend is going against the grain, and his name is Chris Jones. Let’s discuss why Chris Jones is the ideal “lifelong Chiefs player.”
The Chiefs And Chris Jones Are A Perfect Match
Jones is the gold standard for a pass-rushing beast. Jones has 65 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, and 243 total tackles in seven seasons with KC. In 2022 alone, Jones finished with 30 solo tackles, 15.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Jones is entering the final season of his four-year deal signed back in 2020, so obviously, the next step is signing an extension. He’s set to earn a $19.5 million base salary with no guaranteed money left. In addition, Jones carries a $28.291 million salary cap hit for the 2023 season.
Jones has also said, “I’m a Chief for life. I will not play for another franchise.” Jones has clarified that he wants to be in KC for his entire career. Brett Veach will have to make the money work because Jones will likely cost a pretty penny. But regardless of the money, he is the ideal “lifelong franchise player.”
Why Chris Jones Deserves An Extension
Jones has all but cemented his spot at the top of the NFL for defensive tackles. He is a consensus top-three defensive tackle, no doubt about it. Jones led NFL defensive tackles in sacks and total pressures and tied for PFF’s top interior defender pass-rush grade in 2022.
Jones also is the only defensive tackle to play out his entire contract so far before an extension happens. Spotrac predicts a new deal in the four-year, $120 million range. That would mean Jones gets about $30 million annually and is the 14th-highest-paid player in the NFL. He has proven his loyalty by being a top-of-the-league player for his entire career. Pay the man.
While the idea of Chris Jones being in KC for his entire career is not crazy, he will be an expensive contract. Brett Veach should be trusted to get a deal done, but it likely does not happen until next summer. The Chiefs have to figure out their cap space for 2023, and a significant extension deal for Jones is not in the cards yet. There will likely be more movement of the Patrick Mahomes mega deal to try and keep Jones in KC long-term.