Jones was right. The defensive tackle and the Chiefs agreed to a long-term contract days later. The deal could earn Jones up to $ 85 million over the next four years.
The new contract allows Jones, 26, to continue his career with the Chiefs, the team that drafted him in the second round in 2016. It will also allow him to continue his legacy as one of the best smugglers in the NFL. Jones has led the Chiefs in the sacks each of the past two seasons, scoring 15.5 in 2018 and nine last year.
“For me, nothing has changed,” Jones said. “It’s always about being the best I can be. It’s always about being the leader of the bag and being the defensive player of the year. I always push myself to new heights. … It’s about having a career in the Hall of Fame, getting a golden jacket.
“If someone said to me, ‘You could take $ 20 million or 20 bags,’ I would take all 20 bags any day. This is where I think, where is my heart: get bags, win championship rings, have fun, enjoy it This is where I am right now. I love bags with passion. I love to rush. I could wake up everyday and I could go for rushing everyday. It’s my passion, it’s my dream, it’s my goal. It’s the love of my life. ”
For these reasons, the Chiefs felt comfortable giving Jones the long-term contract he had long wanted.
“Over the past few years, Chris has truly proven to be an elite player in his position and truly one of the best defensive players in the National Football League,” said general manager Brett Veach. “For all that he has already accomplished on the field, we certainly think that he is only scratching the surface with his age and talent. ”
It took the Chiefs and Jones a while to get there. Jones resisted offseason training last year hoping to get a new contract at that time, although he showed up in time for training camp, even if it didn’t is not produced.
The parties initially couldn’t come to an agreement this year, so the Chiefs kept Jones out of the free agent market by making him their franchise player. The long-term deal was only reached last week. The Chiefs first had to clear the salary cap space (they had at one point $ 177 to work under the cap) and then conclude negotiations with Mahomes over his 10-year extension, all in the midst of a pandemic.
The Chiefs proceeded slowly with the contracts for Mahomes and Jones due to uncertainty over the levels of future salary caps.
“We definitely had some hurdles to overcome,” Veach said. “We were motivated and determined the whole time. … Our plan was to do a lot of things that we did in the offseason, but at the top of that list were Pat Mahomes and Chris Jones.
“That’s why it took a while. We were just trying to go through all the scenarios. We don’t know where the cap is going to be, but we need to have plans ready and in place to see if this develops. [or] remains the same [or] dives. … We have enough game plans in place to protect ourselves and we felt good. “