Chris Jones, Chiefs Reportedly Agree to 4-Year, $85M Contract Ahead of Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (95) reacts after a play during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Kansas City Chiefs won 31-20. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Steve Luciano/Associated Press

As the deadline neared, the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a four-year contract extension with defensive tackle Chris Jones, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

Schefter noted the deal is worth $85 million with $60 million guaranteed.

The Chiefs placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jones in March, guaranteeing him $16.1 million for the upcoming season. He and Kansas City had until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to finalize a long-term contract.

The Chiefs signed Patrick Mahomes last week to a 10-year extension that could be worth up to $503 million. Some were surprised to learn of the contract's length because his $45 million annual salary could look like a bargain in a few years.

In explaining why he agreed to the deal, Mahomes said he wanted the Chiefs to have salary-cap flexibility, per CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan:

"We were able to get this contract done in the right way that not only gives me the security that I've always wanted but also allows opportunities for the team to be great around me the entire duration of my entire career. And I have trust that things will get handled the right way as we go throughout this career and we will be in position to win a lot of football games and hopefully win a lot more championships as my career goes on."

Kansas City's reported agreement with Jones is a prime example of that.

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Jones has 136 tackles and 33 sacks through his first four seasons. His 15.5 sacks in 2018 were the third-most in the NFL.

In April, Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey ranked Jones as the 11th-best player headed for free agency in 2021. Linsey noted only Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox had a better pass-rushing grade over the last four years among interior defenders, and Jones ranked fourth in pressures (212) over that span.

Now, the Chiefs can look toward retaining their best players eligible for free agency in 2022. Travis Kelce would presumably get priority with Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz among the others with two years remaining on their contracts.

Future success can never be guaranteed, but Kansas City is doing everything it can to capture the franchise's third Super Bowl title after last year's championship run.