The Kansas City Chiefs and star defensive tackle Chris Jones remain at a standstill. Failing to report for the beginning of training camp, Jones is demanding a new deal as he enters the final year of a four-year, $80M contract with the Chiefs.
While Jones’ holdout may be a touchy subject to those in Chiefs Kingdom, quarterback Patrick Mahomes hasn’t shied away from voicing support for his teammate to get paid.
“You want to keep pushing the market forward for other quarterbacks. You don’t want to be someone that they [use against other players],” Mahomes told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer while discussing the current quarterback market. “But at the same time, I want these other guys to get paid. I want Chris Jones to be in training camp.”
Jones, 29, is coming off arguably the most prolific campaign of his seven-year tenure in Kansas City. The Mississippi State product tied a career-high with 15.5 sacks and notched a new personal best in total tackles (44) en route to a first-team All-Pro selection.
Jones is set to earn $20M for the 2023 NFL season, per Spotrac. There are currently seven defensive tackles in the league earning a yearly average salary of $21M or greater, including Quinnen Williams, who recently inked a $96M extension ($24M per year average) with the New York Jets.
As things currently sit, Jones holds a $28M cap hit for the 2023 season, while the Chiefs boast the lowest cap space in football ($11,267). Inking Jones to an extension would lower his 2023 cap hit and create flexibility to seek additional depth across the roster — namely receiver, after projected No. 1 wideout Kadarius Toney suffered a torn meniscus during the opening practice of training camp.