Chris Jones’ New Salary Hints at Next Chiefs Moves

Chris Jones

Getty Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones during the 2022 regular season.

The details of Chris Jones’ new one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs have been revealed. Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer laid out the incentive-laden deal very clearly for fans on September 12.

Jones will get a base salary of $19.5 million, minus the $1.08 million that he lost for sitting out Week 1 according to Breer. He will also earn another $1 million for playing 35% of snaps and $1 million for playing 50% of snaps.

From there, 10 sacks will get Jones $1.25 million in incentives and 15 sacks will get him an extra $500,000. Finally, the 2022 first-team All-Pro will earn $1 million if he earns that honor once again and plays in the Super Bowl, and $2 million if he wins Defensive Player of the Year and the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.

After the news, Arrowhead Pride analyst Jared Sapp voiced the following: “Turns out I predicted wrong and Jones doesn’t have a void year, meaning KC will need cap space ASAP. Expect at least two of [Travis] Kelce, [Joe] Thuney, and Justin Reid to be restructured this week.”

The Chiefs are the only team in the NFL that’s currently “in the red” for cap space according to Over the Cap, although we’ll have to wait on the fine print of Jones’ new deal to know exactly where that negative total is at. Either way, Sapp’s assessment appears accurate. Considering the short-term nature of this contract, the only downside is that Jones will not free up cap space for KC — meaning more front office moves are on the way.

Chris Jones’ Agents Ripped After ‘One of the Worst Holdouts I’ve Ever Seen’

After the initial one-year terms were shared on September 11, Jones took to social media to defend his holdoutstating that he “got it all back,” regarding his fines. You see, the sentiment around the league has been that Jones lost this standoff, and that sentiment didn’t change one bit after his contract details were outlined.

“One of the worst holdouts I’ve ever seen,” former NFL player turned analyst Ross Tucker commented. “Forfeited like $3.6M with fines, game check, and workout bonus and now has to make it back in incentives?”

Sports Illustrated and ESPN contributor Andrew Brandt agreed, reacting: “Wow. Just incentivizes, no new money, still can be tagged. Doesn’t seem like holdout accomplished much, if anything.”

KC sports radio host Carrington Harrison echoed Brandt, and even Sapp admitted that while “[Jones] probably gained a slight amount of money… there [is] no way to look at this as anything but a disaster by his agents.”

Chiefs Have Expensive Tag Decision Regarding Chris Jones in 2024

NFL Network’s James Palmer also weighed in on Jones’ new contract, relaying what it would mean for his franchise tag number in 2024.

“If the tag is used, and with Jones’ cap number of $27 million, that would be roughly a franchise tag of $32.4 million in 2024,” Palmer informed. “A 120% increase over his 2023 cap number.”

Over the Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald did reply to this post, arguing that “[Jones’] base tag value should be $30.55M.” He explained that the base number “will be based off his base and existing proration [and that] the incentives would carry over.”

Either way, it’s a very expensive franchise tag total for Kansas City to consider.

“I think they are probably done talking extension for now, and possibly forever. But the base salary staying the same probably leaves the window slightly open if they want to keep negotiating,” Sapp concluded in his thread.

If the Chiefs don’t tag Jones in 2024, he’ll become a free agent. In other words, the game wrecker is very clearly betting on himself this season, but it’s hard to argue that this result is not a positive outcome for KC — considering where things stood a week ago.