The details of Chris Jones’ contract extension are leaking out, giving us a full picture of the one-year deal that’ll keep the Defensive Player of the Year finalist in Kansas City.
This deal looks like a home run for the Chiefs, who maintained flexibility moving forward without making any true concessions. Given Jones has already forfeited almost $4 million in fines, it’s hard to come away thinking this is anything but a massive disappointment for him.
That being said, there are two critical caveats in the reported details for Chiefs fans to keep in mind. Let’s go through them to understand why this is such a big win for Brett Veach and Kansas City.
Chris Jones Contract Incentives
The first key detail is that Jones’ base salary of $19.5 million remains the same. He has an opportunity to earn up to $25 total with incentives, but the Chiefs did not give him back the money he was fined in a guaranteed bonus.
Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the incentive package is as follows:
- $1 million for 35% playing time;
- $1 million for 50% playing time (additional to the $1 million for 35% playing time) OR $1.25 million for 10 sacks;
- $500,000 for 15 sacks (additional to the $1.25 million for 10 sacks);
- $1 million if selected as a first-team All-Pro and the Chiefs play in the Super Bowl;
- $2 million if he wins Defensive Player of the Year and the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.
Some of these targets are likely, like the playing time, while winning Defensive Player of the Year feels more far-fetched. All-in-all, Jones has a good chance to get $23 million this season if he plays up to his standards, but he’s still down almost $4 million in fines.
That means we’re essentially back where we started. Jones is making approximately the same amount of money and we’ve just gone through this months-long battle with little to show for it.
Somehow, there’s still more bad news for Jones.
Chiefs Keep Franchise Tag Option
This is a massive failure for the Katz Brothers as an agency. They did not secure a “no franchise tag” clause, meaning the Chiefs can just franchise tag Jones next offseason and we’re in the exact same situation.
We saw the Chiefs work out a sign-and-trade with Dee Ford after franchise-tagging him, so it’s still possible the Chiefs do the same with Jones if the two sides are unable to agree to a long-term extension.
As a result, Jones has little control over his future.
Brett Veach handled this situation as well as he could have. Kansas City maintains flexibility moving forward and Jones has to have a stellar year to recoup the money he lost, which is good for the Chiefs anyway.
We can rejoice that Jones is back, but this is an embarrassing moment for him and his representation.
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