hall leAmid rumors about what Chris Jones is seeking in a new contract from the Kansas City Chiefs, a new report has detailed what the team is offering its star defensive tackle as he continues to holdout. Per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Chiefs are offering to replace the $19.5 million salary Jones is set to make this season with a new three-year deal worth $74 million. “Of that amount,” Florio wrote, “$70 million would be guaranteed for injury, with a lower amount fully guaranteed.”
Despite the continued talks, the Chiefs are still “bracing for the early part of the season to be without Chris Jones, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
One interesting note from Florio is that Jones “isn’t trying” to match or surpass the $31.7 million average annual salary Aaron Donald gets from the Los Angeles Rams, and he would be willing to “split the difference” between Donald’s salary and Kansas City’s current offer. The midpoint between the Chiefs’ offer and Donald’s salary is $28.2 million. Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop reported last week Jones was seeking an extension that would pay him “in the neighborhood of $30 million” per season.
Jones has been fairly quiet about the status of his contract and holdout. The closest he’s come to providing any insight is when he responded to a fan question on social media about how long he would be willing to sit out without a new deal.
Jones has already been fined nearly $2 million for his holdout and can be docked game checks after the Chiefs placed him on the reserve/did not report list earlier this week.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has said Jones “deserves a big contract,” but he hasn’t given any indication the two sides are close to a deal. He told reporters earlier this week they are “hopeful” Jones will be on the field when the team opens the season on Sept. 7 against the Detroit Lions. The market for defensive tackles has increased exponentially in recent years, particularly this offseason. Donald signed his new deal with the Rams in June 2022. After Donald, whose average annual salary is in a tier of its own, the next five contracts for defensive tackles by AAV were all been signed this offseason. They range in value from $21 million (Javon Hargrave of the San Francisco 49ers) to $24 million (Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets).From this group, though, Hargrave is the only one whose deal was his third contract. Williams, Jeffery Simmons, Daron Payne and Dexter Lawrence all extended with their current teams off of their rookie deals.
Jones, 29, is one year younger than Hargrave (30). He’s arguably the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the NFL, especially with Donald coming off an injury-plagued 2022. The four-time Pro Bowler tied his career high with 15.5 sacks last season and finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting.