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Don't let Chris Jones Contract Saga fade for long
Jones will be in the situation again, along with other NFL Stars
Alright, the financial saga in the NFL has found its resolution and the fallout should have prospective free agents taking notes. Let's talk about the Kansas City Chiefs and their star interior defender, Chris Jones. The guy was literally a wrecking ball last season with a grade of 92.0, topping the charts among interior defenders. Not only that, but he also led his position with an 18.1% pass-rush win rate, 84 quarterback pressures, and 15.5 sacks in 2022. But his contract stalemate with the Chiefs had everyone on the edge of their seats.
In the end, Chris Jones took an L on this contract battle.
Or, more specifically, he took bad advice from the guys that took the L… his agents. Now, he’s seen his QB ink a massive restructure, and he has to think about the decisions that got him here. Will he change Agents? Could we be right back here in the next offseason? Yes, we could.
The Holdout Drama
So, Jones was set to earn $20 million in 2023. Given that he had the season of his life, Jones was looking for an even bigger payday. And who can blame him? But the two sides couldn't find that magic number, and what did we get? A holdout.
Counting the Cost
Here's where it gets interesting. Jones didn't just sit back and sip mojitos during his holdout. He got fined $98,753 for missing all three days of the mandatory minicamp. Then, Pro Football Talk has him missing 42 days of training camp with fines at $50,000 per day—so that's a whopping $2.1 million. And don't forget the $500,000 offseason workout bonus he missed out on. Add those up, and you've got $2,698,753 in lost money.
Oh, but we're not done. He also sat out the Chiefs' season opener against the Detroit Lions, which cost him one-eighteenth of his $19.5 million salary—that’s an additional $1,083,333. Final tally: $3,782,086 in fines and lost salary.
The New Deal
The Chiefs didn't make it easy for him, folks. They kept the same $19.5 million salary in the new contract, but didn't give him back that lost game check. So, he'll earn $18,416,667 over the rest of the season.
Let's Talk Incentives
Now, in terms of incentives, he'll get $1 million if he participates in 35% of the defensive snaps, and another $1 million for 50%. Given his track record, these seem pretty achievable. But we all know nothing's guaranteed in the NFL. He also has a $1.25 million incentive for getting 10 sacks and another $500,000 for 15 sacks.
Add in $1 million for a first-team All-Pro nod and a trip to the Super Bowl, and another $2 million for Defensive Player of the Year coupled with a Chiefs Super Bowl win, and Jones could rake in an extra $6.75 million.
What This All Means
The maximum Jones could make in 2023 is $25,166,667. Not the $30-ish million he was looking for. And get this: Jones didn't secure any protections against a franchise tag next year. So, guess what? We might be back in this same melodrama next year.
The Chiefs, who stood their ground even through a Week 1 loss, have gotten the better end of this deal. Jones? He’s gonna have to light up the stat sheet to make this new deal worth his while. His performance vs the Jacksonville Jaguars was a start, but he’s got to crank it up from there.