4 Chiefs Kansas City Can't Afford to Let Hit Free Agency in 2024

After winning Super Bowl 58, the Kansas City Chiefs have several pending free agents they must address. While some are expendable, they can't afford to let these four players hit the open market.
DT Chris Jones is one of four players whom the Chiefs can't afford to let hit free agency.
DT Chris Jones is one of four players whom the Chiefs can't afford to let hit free agency. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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After winning Super Bowl LVIII, the Kansas City Chiefs have a long offseason ahead of them — especially when it comes to free agency. Spotrac lists the Chiefs as having 19 pending unrestricted free agents with just over $16.1 million in cap space, meaning it's going to be tough to bring everyone back.

There are ways for Kansas City to save millions of dollars this offseason, but likely not enough to bring back every free agent. Some tough decisions must be made in the coming weeks and while it won't hurt to see some familiar faces depart, others must be protected at all costs.

With that in mind, here are four Chiefs that Kansas City can't afford to let hit free agency.

1. Chris Jones, DT

The Chiefs had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season and Chris Jones was a key contributor to that success.

The three-time Super Bowl Champion enjoyed another productive campaign, racking up 20 solo tackles, 10.5 sacks, and four defended passes en route to his fifth Pro Bowl nomination and All-Pro first-team honors. The former Mississippi State Bulldog was also Pro Football Focus' No. 3-ranked interior defender in terms of pass rushing (90.4) and No. 5 for overall defense (88.1), further showcasing the 29-year-old's dominance.

Having said that, Jones is heading to free agency and is in line for a massive payday. Spotrac projects his market value at $28.4 million per season, which is more than the Chiefs have available. Restructuring some contracts and cutting other players can help create more space, but fitting Jones under the cap will be a challenge.

But regardless of how difficult it is to make things work, Kansas City must do what it takes to retain Jones. He's one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL and losing him would make winning Super Bowl 59 that much harder.