The Kansas City Chiefs might look to hand a contract extension to All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones this offseason in an effort to provide the team with some cap relief for the 2023 season. But what would it take for Jones and the Chiefs to agree upon an extension?
According to Nate Taylor of The Athletic, Jones has made it clear in what tier he wants his contract extension to be in.
“This year, Jones, according to a league source, wants an extension that will make him at least the second-highest player at his position,” Taylor wrote on March 2.
The highest-paid interior defender in the NFL is Los Angeles Rams‘ Aaron Donald, who was given a three-year, $95 million extension during the 2022 offseason. That puts his contract at an average annual value (AAV) of $31.6 million, according to Over The Cap. Second on the list for interior defender contracts are New York Giants‘ Leonard Williams (three years, $63 million) and Indianapolis Colts‘ DeForest Buckner (four years, $84 million), who have an AAV of $21 million.
Chris Jones Has a Large Cap Hit in 2023
As it stands, Jones would have a base salary of $19.5 million for the 2023 season and would get roughly $8.7 million in bonuses, per Over The Cap. The largest problem with the final year of his contract is his $28 million cap hit, which is the third-largest cap hit among Chiefs players next season only behind defensive end Frank Clark ($28.6 million) and quarterback Patrick Mahomes ($49.2 million).
Handing Jones an extension this offseason would allow the Chiefs to potentially give Jones a sizable signing bonus, which would pay him for his All-Pro efforts during the 2022 season. But more importantly, doing that would delay Jones’ large cap hit for the 2023 season and instead push it into 2024 and beyond, which in turn would provide the defending Super Bowl champions with more spending money this offseason.
Based on the AAV of the top-paid interior defenders in the NFL, Jones is looking for an extension that pays him at least $22 million per year. And based on how he played during the 2022 season, he has earned the right to demand that kind of money.
Chris Jones Coming Off of All-Pro Campaign
During the 2022-2023 regular season, Jones recorded 77 total pressures (50 QB hurries, 15 sacks, 12 QB hits), 31 stops, and 2 forced fumbles, according to PFF. His 92.3 defensive grade during the regular season was the highest among all interior defenders in the NFL, even ahead of Aaron Donald, who was PFF’s highest-graded interior defender for eight straight seasons prior to 2022.
One of the best performances of Jones’ career came during Kansas City’s AFC Championship victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in January. He was a game-wrecker in that outing, registering 10 total pressures (5 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, 2 sacks) and 3 stops.
While there is uncertainty as to whether the Chiefs and Jones can agree upon an extension this offseason, there’s one thing we do know: Chris Jones wants to remain a Chief for his entire career.
“Kansas City, I know I don’t talk about it much but I want to be a Chief for life,” Jones said prior to winning Super Bowl LIV in 2020. “I plan to stay here forever, man, and win not only one championship, two, three, four. We got to build a dynasty here.”