Chris Jones is his usual dominant self this year after a contentious holdout that extended into the season. He's accumulated 5.5 sacks despite consistent double-teams, breaking the Chiefs' record for consecutive games with a sack in the process.
Things may get dicey in the offseason, though. Jones is not under contract next year and his production has done nothing to suggest he doesn't deserve the huge extension he desires.
While Jones' excellence should be celebrated, one other Chiefs player has taken a massive step forward that could be the breaking point for the contract negotiations.
How George Karlaftis' Breakout Impacts Chris Jones' Contract Negotiations
Brett Veach may have struck gold in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
George Karlaftis has been one of the NFL's best pass rushers this season, accumulating six sacks through eight games while harassing opposing quarterbacks at an elite level.
Want to know the names ahead of Karlaftis on that leaderboard? Micah Parsons, Nick Bosa, Aiden Hutchison, Dexter Lawrence, Josh Sweat and Maxx Crosby.
That's a true "who's who" list of edge rushers with the collective award mantles to prove it.
He's looked like a star since Week 1. While Jones certainly makes Karlaftis' job easier overall, it's hard to argue that the 22-year-old out of Purdue wouldn't look impressive even if Jones weren't in the lineup. For my money, this kind of pass rush translates anywhere:
Look at this guy!
That strip sack came with 22 seconds left in the first half on Sunday, allowing the Chiefs to knock in a critical field goal. Considering the circumstances and how much the offense was struggling to score, that qualifies as a pretty clutch play.
Karlaftis had six pressures and 2.5 sacks against the Broncos, one of the few Chiefs who played well. Players of this caliber don't come cheap, hence the issue with resigning soon-to-be 30-year-old Chris Jones to a record-breaking extension.
Bosa just became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, Lawrence and Crosby are both on contracts approaching $100 million, and Parsons and Hutchison are both on rookie deals but will likely both get deals similar to Bosa's.
If the Chiefs believe in Karlaftis' breakout, the front office has to prepare for a six-figure contract. Given Karlaftis' age and the upcoming negotiations for fellow young stars like Trent McDuffie, Creed Humphrey, Nick Bolton, and Trey Smith, just to name a few, it makes sense for Brett Veach to build towards the future.
Chris Jones deserves every penny he's asking for, but Karlaftis' superstar rise likely means the Chiefs won't be the organization meeting those demands.
It's not quite $100 million, but DraftKings Sportsbook has a $200 guaranteed sign-up bonus available for Chiefs fans looking to back Karlaftis, Jones, and the Chiefs vs. the Dolphins in Week 9. New users who bet $5 or more (with a $10 deposit) on any Chiefs wager will INSTANTLY receive $200 in bonus bets! Sign up now and let's enjoy both of these game-wreckers while we can.
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