Chiefs sign All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones to new 1-year deal to end his holdout
By DAVE SKRETTA
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs signed Chris Jones to a new one-year contract Monday, which should end the All-Pro defensive tackle's holdout and could mean he will be back on the field when they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars for Week 2.
The Chiefs did not disclose terms, but a source told The Associated Press no years were added to his four-year, $80 million deal, which was due to expire. The person, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deal, said it instead includes incentives to substantially increase what Jones will make this season.
“Chris is an elite player in this league, and over the last seven years, he’s really developed into a leader on our team,” Chiefs general manager Manager Brett Veach said in a statement. “He’s been instrumental to our success and Super Bowl championship runs and it was a priority for us to keep him in a Chiefs uniform."
Veach praised Jones' representation, Jason and Michael Katz, for their work on the deal. The agents accompanied Jones to Kansas City last week and sat alongside him in a suite at Arrowhead Stadium to watch the Chiefs' season-opening loss to Detroit.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said hours before the deal was announced there had been recent communication between the sides.
“Two things were obvious,” Veach said, "Chris wanted to be a Chiefs and the Katz brothers worked diligently on his behalf.”
Jones gave up a $500,000 workout bonus, was fined $50,000 each day for missing a mandatory minicamp and all of training camp, and forfeited nearly $1.1 million in his first game check for holding out through Week 1. It's unclear whether the provisions in his new deal will allow Jones to recoup the millions he already lost.
The statement from the Chiefs did not discuss what could happen next season. The club could still work out a long-term deal with Jones, use the franchise tag - and perhaps trade him - or allow him to leave in free agency.
Jones is coming off perhaps the best year of his seven-year career. He had 15 1/2 sacks to match a career best, and easily lead the Kansas City defense, along with picking up the first postseason sacks of his career. He also batted down four passes, forced a pair of fumbles, recovered one and helped the Chiefs to their second Super Bowl title in the past four years.
Along with earning his first spot on the All-Pro first team and getting voted to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, the 29-year-old Jones finished third behind the 49ers' Nick Bosa and the Cowboys' Micah Parsons for AP Defensive Player of the Year.
The deal for Jones came about a week after he returned to Kansas City from his home in Miami, where he had been working out all offseason.
While he had not reported to the Chiefs at that point, Jones did spend about 90 minutes with sick children and their families on a visit to Ronald McDonald House Charities.
In his only public statement, Jones said: "Hopefully it gets worked out. It's always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I’ve said that multiple time on social media platforms, from interviews, and they know where my position is at.”
There had been rumors Jones wanted a deal that exceeded several recent contracts given to defensive tackles, but that would be less than that of the Rams' Aaron Donald, who set the market with a three-year, $96 million contract. That would mean a deal in the ballpark of the four-year, $90 million deals of the Giants' Dexter Lawrence and the Commanders’ Daron Payne, the four-year, $95 million contract for the Titans’ Jeffrey Simmons and the four-year, $96 million deal for the Jets' Quinnen Williams.
“I’ve been keeping in contact with my teammates. I’ve been working out every day, doing similar things to what they’re doing in training camp,” Jones said. “I’ll be ready when the time comes.”
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Updated September 11, 2023