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Chris Jones’s Record-Breaking Contract Signals Chiefs’ Quest for a Three-Peat

The defensive tackle’s massive deal keeps him in Kansas City, warning the rest of the league that Patrick Mahomes & Co. aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

The Kansas City Chiefs don’t typically pay players into their 30s.

But Chris Jones—and what the Chiefs are attempting to do in 2024—is anything but typical.

After more than a year of negotiations, Kansas City and Jones’s representation finally agreed to a new deal. The pact is a mammoth five-year, $160 million that includes $95 million guaranteed for the 29-year-old defensive tackle, giving Jones the highest annual value at his position in NFL history.

Chris Jones flexes his arms while smiling at the Super Bowl

In 2023, Jones held out for Kansas City’s training camp while negotiating his deal.

Yet while the headline is retaining Jones, a five-time All-Pro with 75.5 career sacks and three Super Bowl rings, there’s an underlying message which is even more impactful: The Chiefs are all-in for a three-peat.

No team in the Super Bowl era has ever turned the trick. Dating back to the league’s inception in 1920, only the Green Bay Packers have ever won three straight championships, doing it from ’29–31 and ’65–67.

Still, those were different times. The first Green Bay run came during a time of no playoffs and a league with teams constantly coming in and out of existence. The second run did include the first two Super Bowls but was in an era well before free agency, the salary cap and parity.

For the Chiefs, they’re chasing what is almost an impossible dream. Kansas City is the ninth team trying to win three consecutive Super Bowls, and with Jones in the fold once more, it might have the best shot of anybody.

Here’s how the previous eight fared:

1968 Green Bay Packers: Missed playoffs
1974 Miami Dolphins: Lost AFC Divisional
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers: Lost AFC Championship
1980 Pittsburgh Steelers: Missed playoffs
1990 San Francisco 49ers: Lost NFC Championship
1994 Dallas Cowboys: Lost NFC Championship
1999 Denver Broncos: Missed playoffs
2004 New England Patriots: Lost AFC Divisional

Of the aforementioned teams, two had virtually no chance following the retirements of Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi and Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.

The Chiefs don’t have to deal with such departures. And they could add in free agency, as general manager Brett Veach is armed with the option of restructuring Patrick Mahomes’s deal, worth up to $37 million in cap space.

As things stand, Kansas City is already favored to emerge from the AFC for the fifth time in six years, sitting only behind the 49ers in championship odds. Barring a stunner, those odds should only increase if the Chiefs add firepower to their offense, with veteran receivers such as Calvin Ridley and Marquise Brown available.

For Veach, the only looming in-house roster decision is star corner L’Jarius Sneed, who is currently on the franchise tag at $19.8 million. Should the Chiefs trade Sneed in the coming days, they’ll open up said money against the cap while also adding what should be a premium Day 2 draft pick.

There’s also the option of extending Sneed, using Jaylon Johnson’s four-year, $76 million deal with the Chicago Bears as guidance. However, the most-likely scenario is Kansas City moves the 27-year-old while relying on first-team All-Pro corner Trent McDuffie to lead a young group that includes Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams.

Ultimately, the Chiefs’ dynasty has been built upon the pillars of Mahomes, Jones and tight end Travis Kelce, along with a phenomenal coaching staff led by Andy Reid. That combination has led to six straight AFC West titles, six consecutive AFC championship game appearances, four trips to the Super Bowl and three rings since Mahomes became the starter ahead of the 2018 season.

Jim Nantz holds a microphone up to Travis Kelce as Chris Jones, Patrick Mahomes stand next to him

Kelce (left), Jones (center) and Mahomes (right) are all veterans of this Kansas City dynasty.

Now with Jones re-signed, the Chiefs are loaded up once more with plenty of flexible cap space and draft picks to make further improvements. And in signing Jones to a record-setting extension, the message of going for broke is clear.

Rightfully so.

If the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIX, they will become the greatest team in NFL history. They’ll have won four titles in six years, a feat only matched by the 1970s Steelers. But Pittsburgh never won three straight, and in the years between their two back-to-back runs, didn’t reach another Super Bowl. Nobody has ever made five such trips in a half-dozen years, which the Chiefs could do next season.

The offseason is far from over. Other teams will make significant moves.

But there’s a good chance the Chiefs will as well, and that should terrify the rest of the NFL.