NFL

Chris Jones May Have Signed an $80 Million Contract, But Something Other Than Money Led Him to Stay With the Chiefs

After winning their first Super Bowl in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t been resting on their laurels. The club made headlines earlier this offseason by signing Patrick Mahomes to a massive extension. Then, with the July 15 deadline looming, they managed to hammer out an extension for defensive tackle Chris Jones.

While that deal may have given Jones a nice raise—he’ll earn $80 million over the next four seasons—he’s not worried about his bank account. Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs lineman has his eyes on an even bigger prize.

Chris Jones earned his $80 million contract extension

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As the old cliche says, defense wins championships. While Patrick Mahomes obviously played a key role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory, Chris Jones and the rest of the Kansas City defense also stepped up in the big moments.

Jones played his college ball at Mississippi State, where he spent three seasons on the Bulldogs varsity squad. He then entered into the 2016 draft and landed with the Chiefs as a second-round pick.

In Kansas City, Jones started out as a backup defensive lineman but quickly climbed the depth chart. After two seasons as a bit-part player, he exploded in 2018, posting 15.5 sacks—Jones took down the quarterback in an NFL-record 11 consecutive games—and 40 total tackles. Although his 2019 campaign wasn’t as effective, the defensive lineman still recorded nine sacks on the season and forced a turnover in Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory.

With 97 total tackles and 33 sacks in four NFL seasons, Jones has grown into a key member of the Chiefs defense. While there was some drama leading up to the deadline—it seemed like a holdout could be on the cards—everyone got what they wanted with a four-year, $80 million contract. Kansas City’s defensive front remains intact, and Jones received some well-deserved financial compensation and stability.

Chris Jones isn’t interested in chasing a paycheck, though

Thanks to an assist from Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones was able to sign a nice extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. While no one would say no to a guaranteed $60 million, the lineman is looking for something more important than money.

“I always wanted to stay with the Kansas City Chiefs,” Jones said via Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride. “It’s not about being the highest-paid player. It’s about getting what you deserve and what you think fits you. I think me and the Chiefs came to an agreement on a certain number that we both could agree to, and we made it happen. But until then, patience with the organization and understanding that no matter what, you determine your own destiny.”

And what is Jones’ destiny in Kansas City? If you ask the defensive tackle, it’s something other than earning a nice salary.

“For me, it’s about having a Hall of Fame career, getting a gold jacket,” Jones continued. “Honestly, if somebody told me you could choose $20 million or 20 sacks, I’d choose the sacks every day. That’s just where my mind and where my heart is at. Getting sacks, winning championship rings, and having fun. Enjoying the process. And that’s where I’m at right now.”

Kansas City is a simply good place to be right now

During a recent radio interview, Chris Jones made headlines by stating he’d help bring “five-plus” championships to Kansas City. While you can take issue with that claim—it’s tough for even the best team to win multiple titles—his underlying logic is sound.

Assuming the 2020 NFL season takes place as planned, the Kansas City Chiefs will be fielding essentially the same squad that won the Super Bowl. The offense, which is run by Andy Reid and possesses plenty of speed and talent, needs no introduction; the club’s defense might not be elite, but they improved at the end of 2019 and should be good enough to take a little weight of Patrick Mahomes’ shoulders. Barring any catastrophic injuries, it’s easy to see Kansas City making a run another run at the title.

Although it’s unlikely that the Chiefs can lift the Lombardi Trophy as many times as Jones would like, the rest of his statements ring true. While staying in Kanas City did provide a nice payday, it also gave him something more; if you’re looking to have fun, win football games, and earn a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you want to play for one of the league’s top teams. Right now, the Kansas City Chiefs are just that.

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference