NFL Rumors: Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Lineman Chris Jones Expected to Avoid Franchise Tag

The Kansas City Chiefs may have a hard time keeping one of the core players of their dynasty this offseason. ESPN's Adam Schefter says that five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Chris Jones is unlikely to be franchise-tagged, meaning he'll hit unrestricted free agency in March. Jones is coming off a second-straight first-team All-Pro selection and a third Super Bowl championship, but his 2023 salary means the Chiefs would have to pay a whopping $32 million to apply the franchise tag on him, up a staggering $13.3 million for the typical defensive lineman number. The absence of a tag means Jones will have the entirety of the league vying for his services, which means his next contract could shatter records.

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.

Jones shared his intent to return to the Chiefs at their Super Bowl rally, but that's hardly binding. With 31 other suitors out there, there's a good chance some team will put forth an offer the Chiefs are unwilling to match. That alone could render the Chiefs' bid for a threepeat all but impossible.

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