Chris Jones is back.
The Kansas City Chiefs on Monday evening announced they reached an agreement with Jones on a new contract structure that will get him back on the field as soon as Week 2, when the Super Bowl champs head to Jacksonville for a rematch of last season’s divisional playoff game against the Jaguars.
Jones had held out since the start of training camp as he sought a lucrative contract extension from the only team for which he’s ever played. The new agreement with Kansas City should keep Jones happy and focused before another round of extension talks takes place next year.
No extension — but more money in the meantime
The most fascinating element to Jones’ new contract with the Chiefs is that it keeps him on track to enter free agency in 2024. This will still be the final season of the four-year deal that Jones signed with Kansas City in 2020. But the key difference is certain financial incentives have been baked into the new agreement, and these additional benchmarks will allow the All-Pro defensive tackle to make “considerably” more money in 2023.
“Chris is an elite player in this league, and over the last seven years, he’s really developed into a leader on our team,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. “He’s been instrumental to our success and Super Bowl championship runs and it was a priority for us to keep him in a Chiefs uniform.”
Chiefs returning to full strength
The Chiefs defense on Thursday missed Jones’ imposing presence along the line of scrimmage, as the Detroit Lions rang up 368 yards of offense in a 21-20 upset win in Kansas City. Jones is expected to be in contention for the Week 2 matchup against Jacksonville — and he could be joined by another of the champs’ key players as the Chiefs look to avoid starting 0-2.
Tight end Travis Kelce is recovering well from the hyperextended knee that kept him out of the season-opening loss to Detroit. He is likely to make the trip down to Florida this weekend, where he’ll look to re-establish himself as quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ top target after the Chiefs’ receiving corps struggled against the Lions.