April 18, 2024

Chris Jones landing spots: Chiefs All-Pro DT walking away chasing Aaron Donald’s money, per report

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is set to enter the 2023 season in the final year of his four-year, $80 million contract he signed back in the 2020 season, and he has said how important the next move is to his actions. he he blocked the defending Super Bowl champion’s mandatory minicamp this season, and on Saturday, he did not report to the Lions’ training camp. Kansas City could fine Jones up to $50,000 for each day he misses in camp. That may not deter Jones since he and the team are “far apart” on the terms of the new deal, according to ESPN.

The Athletic Jones is reportedly seeking a contract that will pay him $30 million per year. His average current contract value of $20 million is currently the ninth highest among defensive tackles after signing an extension this offseason for Quinnen Williams of the Jets (four years, $96 million), Jeffery Simmons of the Titans (four years, $94 million), Daron Payne of the Chiefs ($94 million), Giphy $9,000,000, Giphy, $9,000,000 and Daron Payne of the Chiefs aspiration (four years), Gypsy $9,000,000, and four years. n Hargrave of the 49ers (four years, $84 million).

Earlier this season, the four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion declared that he was on his way to his first Defensive Player of the Year award, stating definitively that he will be the NFL games top defender in 2023.

Jones, 29, finished third in DPOY voting last season behind San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who led the NFL in sacks with 18.5 and co-led the league in quarterback pressures with 90, and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who also co-leads the league in quarterback pressures with 90. Jones tied his career high in sacks with 15.5, the fourth most in the league, and ranked fifth in quarterback pressure with 77 last season.

In terms of the arrangement Jones is seeking, three-time DPOY winner and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s three-year, $95 million contract leads the interior defensive line market in total and average annual value ($31.6 million). That seems to be the range Jones is hoping for, as he ranks among the best defensive linemen in the league.

Kansas City currently ranks last in the NFL in available cap space for 2023 ($409,942), according to OverTheCap.com, but the Chiefs are projected to have $51.2 million in available cap room heading into the 2024 season, 12th-most in the entire league. General manager Brett Veach could get creative with structuring Jones’ potential deal to make it work for their cap going forward, which he said he believes will eventually happen.

If, however, the Chiefs ultimately decide they can’t meet Jones’ demands and explore a trade, as they once did with star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, there should be suitors. Here are three that make a lot of sense for the Pro Bowl defensive lineman:

After Will Anderson Jr. to draft, the Texans have at least one building block for new coach DeMeco Ryans defensive line. But Jones’ interior presence would take Houston’s offense to another level, and they have the long-term cap space — a projected $100+ million in both 2024 and 2025 – to pay for Jones as the elite starter he is.

General manager Ryan Poles has already spent a lot on defensive upgrades this offseason, especially at goal. But if the focus is really on improving coach Matt Eberflus’ best side of the ball, you can’t do much better than Jones, who would leave his ability to tackle and eventually diversify their front right away. With $32M in current cap space and another $95M in 2024, they have money to spare.

The Lions did so much work to upgrade their secondary last season that coach Dan Campbell is now trying to slow down the “hype train” that surrounds Detroit. But what about big time aid for Aidan Hutchinson in the trenches? Jones is the type of difference maker that would be a premium cherry on top of “D.” And the Lions have a decent amount of cap space left in 2023 ($19M), 2024 ($60M) and beyond.

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