According to Spotrac, Jones is eighth in average yearly salary, a massive drop from when he initially signed his $80 million extension in 2020. The outlook for his return without a deal hasn’t been promising, with Jones taking to Twitter to say that he’ll hold out until at least week eight, and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid being very blunt about where contract talks are.
Kansas City Chiefs’ all-world defensive tackle Chris Jones is currently in the midst of a holdout while he and the team attempt to restructure his contract. Jones, 29, has one year left on his contract at $19.5 million, and it’s clear that he wants to be among the highest paid defensive tackles in the league. He deserves it.
In reality, this is extremely simple to figure out: the Chiefs should hand Chris Jones a blank check and tell him to put down any number he wants. He’s that damn good, and means that much to the Chiefs defense.
In 2022, you could argue that no defensive player meant more to the overall success of a defense than Chris Jones and the Chiefs. You can count the individual stats if you want: first in pressure rate among defensive tackles, first in snaps played, first in ESPN’s pass rush win rate, first in wins vs double teams and first sacks created vs double teams. He’s very good in his own right. What makes this even more important is that Chris Jones makes literally everyone on the defense better with his presence on the field. This table is from Sports Information Solutions On/Off reports:
Yeah, this isn’t complicated. The Chiefs defense is great with Chris Jones on the field. Without Jones on the field, the Chiefs defense is very bad.
That kind of crater in value can’t be saved by a stopgap guy they sign to replicate that void in the middle of the defense. Not only that, but Jones turns up his motor in the most important moments of the game. Among all defensive tackles in the 4th quarter with at least 100 pass rush snaps, Jones is first in pressure rate, total pressures, sacks, and hurries. He is at his best when the team needs him the most, and has been a crucial part of the Chiefs’ dominance in the AFC.
The Kansas City Chiefs have their work cut out for them this season. As the defending Super Bowl champions, they will have a massive target on their backs as everyone will want to knock them off. Repeating as champions is not easy, especially when your roster isn’t at 100 percent.
The Chiefs aren’t dealing with any major injuries. Instead, their best defender, defensive tackle Chris Jones, is holding out. Jones is seeking a contract extension and his representatives have been trying to work out a deal.
To this point, nothing has gotten close to being done. Jones is seeking a market resetting kind of deal, as he wants to reach or surpass the most recent extension that Aaron Donald signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
This development is something that has surprised plenty of people within the organization. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has stood behind Jones as he wants to see his teammate receive the kind of contract that he deserves. But, even he admitted that he didn’t believe it would drag on this long.
“I don’t think anyone expected him not to be here now, but that’s part of the contract negotiation stuff. I’m not looking down on him for anything like that. He has stuff that he’s tried to get done that he feels like he needs to, to get done right now. I respect his decision,” he said.
The defensive tackle market boomed this offseason and Jones wants to be part of it. If he doesn’t receive the kind of offer that he is seeking, he has no qualms about sitting out regular season games.
Remaining away from the team until Week 8 is something that has been tossed around. That is something Mahomes certainly hopes doesn’t occur.
“Not necessarily. I know that stuff, contract stuff, is hard to talk about because everybody wants to make money for their entire family and everything like that, but I know how much Chris loves the Chiefs. He loves being part of this organization.
“I just try to stay out of it and just tell Chris that I love him and that whenever he does come back, he will be welcome with open arms and we know that he’s preparing himself so that when he does get back, he can be that dominant player that he always has been.”
Replacing Jones would be an impossibility for the Chiefs at this point. Unless they pulled off a miraculous trade for Donald himself, there isn’t a player on the roster that can replicate the impact Jones has had on the team.
Last season he had a career-high tying 15.5 sacks, finishing second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. Without him in the lineup, this Chiefs defense will have a huge void. Hopefully, both sides can get a deal hammered out in the near future as Kansas City needs him on the field if they have any hopes of repeating this season.