What Daron Payne’s contract means for the Chiefs and Chris Jones
The leaders just pushed Darron Payne, one of the best young defensive tackles in the league. That’s what that means for Chiefs’ Chris Jones.
Many of the NFL’s most important decisions revolve around who to extend and who to leave in free agency, and there’s a feeling the Kansas City Chiefs won’t let Chris Jones go.
The star defensive tackle publicly stated that he wanted to stay with the Chiefs for the remainder of his career; If the feeling is mutual, Kansas City and Jones will likely negotiate a contract extension this offseason.
Jones, who had 15.5 sacks last season, carries a $28 million cap through the 2023 season, which is less than desirable for a championship-caliber team that wants to continue fortifying its roster.
Jones was last signed to a four-year, $80 million contract, making him the fourth highest paid defensive tackle by total value. He was the third highest paid tackle until Washington leaders went and paid Daron Payne a sum of money to reset the market.
On Sunday, Payne received a four-year, $90 million deal with $60 million in guaranteed money, putting him just below Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald at the top of the market. Good news for Chiefs fans: Payne’s extension doesn’t really affect Jones, but only because Kansas City was expected to pay more money regardless.
Chiefs: Chris Jones is poised to make money as the best defensive tackle in the league
The 2022 DPOY candidate enters the final year of his current contract in 2023, and it’s likely that both sides will want to close the deal sooner rather than later.
The onus is on the Chiefs to come up with a fair deal, and Kansas City can wait for other defensive dominoes to fall before securing Jones: New York Giants’ Dexter Lawrence, Tennessee’s Jeffrey Simmons and New York Jets’ Quenen. Williams are all elite DTs poised to land new contracts this offseason.
Jones is expected to make more than all of them, however, waiting to see how much these players get paid could help give the defensive tackle market more shape and reassure the Chiefs that they’re not overpaying Jones.
According to Spotrac, Jones has a market capitalization of $30 million per year. If the Chiefs give him that briefcase, Jones will join Donald as the two highest-paid defensive tackles in the league. The 28-year-old arguably outdid The Donald last season and had a heavy hand in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run (the finale on Joe Burrow in the AFC Championship comes to mind), cementing his status in the franchise alongside side with the attack. Stars: Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelsey.
In the most recent season, the Chiefs were said to have traded Terek Hill because the two sides fell out over the issue of guaranteed funds and the use of the scheme, among other reasons. With a player like Jones coming into the franchise and clearly wanting to stay here for the long haul, Kansas City shouldn’t have too many problems.