- Chiefs sign defensive lineman Chris Jones to a four-year deal worth $80 million
- Deal includes $60 million in injury guarantees
- Chiefs listed as +600 favorites to win Super Bowl 55
Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs locked star quarterback Patrick Mahomes up to a 10-year deal that is among the most lucrative in the history of American sports. On Tuesday, they inked one of their most impactful players on the other side of the football to a hefty extension of his own.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the reigning Super Bowl champions have agreed to a contract with defensive tackle Chris Jones. The pact is a four-year deal worth a total of $80 million. The Chiefs will fork over $37 million at the time of signing, with $60 million being guaranteed in case of long-term injury. The deal also includes another $5 million in incentives that can ultimately drive the total value up to $85 million.
More contract details for Chris Jones:
*$37 million is due at signing.
*$60 million is guaranteed for injury.
*It’s a four-year, $80 million deal, with $5 million in incentives, making value of contract up to $85 million. https://t.co/gDh7JtAzRg
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 14, 2020
The Chiefs had slapped the franchise tag on Jones earlier this offseason, and the two sides have a deadline of Wednesday, July 15, to hammer out a long-term contract. The team was able to come to terms on a sizable extension for Jones thanks in part to Mahomes’ decision to take on less money at the beginning of his own new deal. Next season, for example, Mahomes will count for just $5.3 million against the cap, which is under 3 percent of the Chiefs’ entire cap figure.
Key Piece of KC Defense
That allowed the Chiefs to pay Jones more upfront. The 26-year-old has been among the most productive defensive linemen in the league since Kansas City took him with an early second-round pick back in 2016. The Mississippi State product racked up a career-high 15.5 sacks in 2018. While his sack total dipped to nine last season, that was still enough to lead the team.
Jones had hinted at the possibility of holding out if the Chiefs didn’t offer him a long-term deal, so it’s beneficial for both sides that an agreement has been struck. Two years ago, Jones set an NFL record by recording at least one sack in 11 straight games. That season, he finished third in the NFL in sacks behind Rams star Aaron Donald and Texans All-Pro JJ Watt.
That Jones reached nine sacks a season ago was impressive considering he was forced to miss three regular-season games due to a groin injury. Despite playing a truncated season, Jones was still nominated to his first Pro Bowl in 2019.
Jones didn’t have any sacks in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl 54 triumph over the 49ers, but his pressure did force San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to throw an interception in the second quarter. Jones also had three deflected passes over the course of Kansas City’s 31-20 win.
Improved Defense Helped Chiefs Win Super Bowl 54
The defensive tackle held out of the team’s offseason workouts last season with the hopes of earning a contract extension. The Chiefs didn’t come to the table, though, and Jones ultimately arrived at training camp on time. Last year was the final year of the rookie deal he signed in 2016. Over the course of 61 regular-season appearances, Jones has totaled 33 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and a pair of interceptions.
A revamped defense played a huge part in getting the Chiefs over the hump last season. Thanks in large part to Mahomes’ MVP-winning season, the Chiefs advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 2018, where they fell at the hands of Tom Brady and New England. However, additions like veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu, pass-rusher Frank Clark, and rookie Juan Thornhill helped Kansas City’s defense improve massively last year. Corner Charvarius Ward also showed plenty of improvement in his second pro campaign.
That salty defense is a big reason for the Chiefs entering the 2020 season as odds-on favorites to win another title in 2020. Kansas City is around a +600 favorite to win Super Bowl 55 at most NFL betting sites, which puts them narrowly ahead of the Baltimore Ravens for the best odds of any team. The fact that the Patriots are expected to take a step back with Brady now in Tampa Bay means the Chiefs and Ravens may well battle it out for AFC supremacy come playoff time.