NFL Rumors: "Growing Optimism" Kansas City Chiefs Will Re-Sign Defensive Lineman Chris Jones

The Kansas City Chiefs and defensive lineman Chris Jones appear willing to keep a good thing going. According to the Athletic's Nate Taylor, there is "growing optimism" that the Chiefs will be able to retain the five-time Pro Bowler via a long-term contract.

Jones is coming off a second-straight first-team All-Pro selection and a third Super Bowl championship, but his 2023 salary meant the Chiefs would have had to pay a whopping $32 million to apply the franchise tag on him, up a staggering $13.3 million from the typical defensive lineman number. The Chiefs instead elected to apply the franchise tag to defensive back L'Jarius Sneed, so Jones is set to hit unrestricted free agency at the start of the new league year. Losing him could be a fatal blow to the Chiefs' chances of winning a third-straight Super Bowl.

Jones has been pressing the Chiefs for a new deal for nearly a year now, and he now appears likely to finally land it. The highest-paid interior defensive lineman in the league is Los Angeles Rams superstar Aaron Donald, who is currently playing on a three-year, $95 million contract. Donald is a generational player and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, but Jones has a very real claim to being the second-best player at their position over the past five years.

The next biggest contract at the position is New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, who signed a four-year, $96 million extension last July. Jones, who is about to turn 30, should comfortably exceed that sum, particularly given this offseason's massive increase in the salary cap.

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