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Chris Jones After New Contract: 'Never for Once' Thought He Was Leaving KC Chiefs

Fresh off signing his lucrative five-year deal, Chris Jones spoke about the journey to a new contract and how he plans to stay productive.

The Kansas City Chiefs' championship trio is intact, as defensive tackle Chris Jones is back on a new contract.

Jones, who was days away from hitting free agency for the first time, was inked to a five-year deal. The pact contains $95.3 million in practical guarantees over the first three years, as well as $31M in roster bonuses and $30M in signing bonus money. It makes Jones the highest-paid interior player in the league on an average salary basis, bringing him past Aaron Donald and up to $31.75M per year.

With the contract signed, sealed and delivered, Jones spoke to the media on Tuesday via Zoom. According to him, he wanted to make good on ensuring he'd have the opportunity to never play for another franchise. 

"For me, that was the plan from the beginning," Jones said. "Since you guys drafted me, I never planned to play for another organization — better yet, end the year with another organization after coming off a Super Bowl win. Deep down, I never felt like I was leaving. Super appreciative for the Hunt family and the Chiefs organization for making sure I retire a Chief." 

Jones thanked several people, both in and outside the Chiefs, for making this happen. Leading off by expressing thanks to Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt for his patience and understanding, Jones also tipped his cap to general manager Brett Veach. Lastly, he acknowledged Michael and Jason Katz of Katz Brothers Sports for their assistance in representing him throughout the entire process.

The new contract leads Jones through his age-34 campaign as things stand. The Chiefs can absolutely — and perhaps should — revisit the structure down the line but either way, they're taking a calculated risk on one of their franchise players. Jones received a record-breaking deal in the same offseason he'll turn 30, which isn't all that common for a defensive tackle. Despite that, he's firm in his belief that he'll continue to play well as he ages. 

"Every year, I just chase greatness," Jones said. "I don't think that'll change. No amount of money can change my love and passion for the game of football. No matter how successful I'll be, I'm always chasing greater heights. I think the Chiefs understand and see my perspective of the game and how much I love the game of football." 

A year ago, things were pretty uncertain regarding Jones's situation with the team. He still had one year left under his then-current contract, although both he and the Chiefs appeared to be making it a priority to extend that. After the NFL Scouting Combine and the beginning of the offseason program, a dark cloud was cast over that assumed progress. Jones held out of training camp, the preseason and through Week 1 of the regular season. He later returned in time to sign a reworked one-year contract and help win another Super Bowl.

Now on the other side of it, there's no proverbial battle left to fight. Jones will remain in Kansas City with financial security and seemingly unlimited job security. He's happy with the deal, and the Chiefs are happy to have their leading defender back. It may not have always appeared to be the most likely ending, but it's surely the best one for everyone involved. Jones is glad to have been able to shut out any doubt and end up where he always really thought he'd be.

"Yeah, uncertainty with playing on a one-year deal," Jones said. "This year, there's a little more security and longevity within that. I think that's a plus on both sides. I think the organization knows how much I love Kansas City. The fans know how much I love KC. I said it at the parade — standing by that. I had doubt at times, but I never for once thought I would be leaving the Chiefs organization."