Shocking as Kansas City Chiefs have lost Chris Jones to a rival club due to……

Shocking as Kansas City Chiefs have lost Chris Jones to a rival club due to……

Jones (right) is set to become one of the highest-paid defensive...
The Chiefs have huge aspirations for 2024. Kansas City can become the first team in NFL history ever to win three consecutive Super Bowls — but it will have to navigate around the league’s salary cap in order to keep their stars happy and well-compensated.
Kansas City on Monday will officially place its franchise tag on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who is looking to sign an enormous new contract and was previously granted permission to seek a trade. If Sneed is out of the fold, then the Chiefs will prioritize an extension for standout defensive tackle Chris Jones — who is expected to command one of the richest contracts for a defensive lineman in league history.

What salary will Jones command?

According to ESPN‘s Jeremy FowlerJones‘ next contract will call for an annual salary of up to $28 million for the two-time first-team All-Pro. This would bring Jones within a couple million dollars of Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald, whose average annual salary is more than $31 million. New York Jets lineman Quinnen Williams is another potential comp, as he earned a $96 million contract extension last summer that will pay him $24 million through the 2027 campaign.

Jones has made it clear that he wants to stay in Kansas City, where he has spent his entire professional career to this point. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has recorded 26 total sacks across the past two seasons and has helped the Chiefs win three Super Bowl championships. As a key member of their dynasty — alongside Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce — the Chiefs of course have significant interest in retaining Jones, the anchor of their defensive line.

What if the Chiefs can’t meet the demands?

A surprise salary cap spike will help Kansas City in its efforts to reach an agreement with Jones, even if negotiations drag on past the start of the new league year on March 13. However, there remains at least a small chance that the Chiefs will not offer Jones exactly what he is looking for — in which case, another team could swoop in for the 29-year-old.

The good news for the Chiefs is that there are not many championship contenders with the requisite cap space to sign Jones, meaning his options could be rather limited on the open market. The Miami Dolphins, who lost to the Chiefs in the wild-card round of the playoffs, would have to clear a lot of space to afford Jones’ contract. Most teams that are flush with room, like the Washington Commanders or the New England Patriots, are in the early stages of a rebuild and might not be ready to contend until Jones is 32 or 33 years old.

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