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Report Explains Salary Details for New Chris Jones KC Chiefs Contract

Chris Jones is back in Kansas City, and a Sunday evening report sheds new light on the mechanisms of his multiyear contract.

The Kansas City Chiefs sent the football world into a frenzy on Saturday night when they reportedly agreed to a massive multiyear contract with All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones. The five-year deal keeps Jones in Kansas City for seasons to come, which will likely coincide with most or all of his prime.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, there's more clarity on what the Jones contract looks like for both sides.

On Sunday evening, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk published an article explaining in further detail what Jones's contract consists of. According to Florio's report, it's a five-year contract worth $158.75 million. It can creatively be viewed as a three-year pact totaling $95.3M in practical guarantees for those years. The Chiefs have a bit of flexibility on the back end of the deal, and restructures could factor into the long-term math of the contract. 

Jones will earn a total of $30M in signing bonus money. $18M of it is due by April 5 of this year, with the other $12M due the year after. Florio's article has a complete explanation of which funds are guaranteed at signing and when other guarantees kick in. Here's a barebones version of the now reportedly finalized deal

  • 2024: $1.25M base salary, $100,000 offseason workout bonus
  • 2025: $13.75M base salary, $15M roster bonus, $100,000 offseason workout bonus
  • 2026: $19M base salary, $16M roster bonus, $100,000 offseason workout bonus
  • 2027: $28.25M base salary, $100,000 offseason workout bonus
  • 2028: $35M base salary, $100,000 offseason workout bonus

On Saturday night, Joshua Brisco of Arrowhead Report wrote about the Jones contract and why the timing of it seems appropriate. 

Jones has been the best and most key defender of the Chiefs' still-in-progress dynasty, and it was hard to imagine them completing a potential three-peat without him at the center of the defense. Ultimately, I think the Chiefs are betting on Jones still being at the top of his game at age 30 and 31 before being a top-level but perhaps not one-of-one player at age 32. If Jones can hold that pace and the Chiefs bring home at least one Super Bowl in that stretch, both sides would get a fitting conclusion to Jones's tremendous Chiefs career.

Using some quick salary cap math, it appears that Jones's combination of a low base salary and workout bonus makes for a manageable 2024 cap hit once the prorated signing bonus is accounted for. Preliminary estimates land at just $7.35M on the books for an early cap number. Conner Christopherson of Arrowhead Report took to X on Sunday and explained that Jones's predicted $34.85M cap hit in 2025 could track to be restructured. With this current distribution, Kansas City saves some cap spending on the front end but will have to get creative in the future to maneuver. They've afforded themselves that ability, though. 

OverTheCap's breakdown confirms the $7.35M figure for 2024, as well as Christopherson's $34.85M calculation for 2025. The outlet lists Jones's respective 2026, 2027 and 2028 cap hits at $41.1M, $34.35M and $41.1M.

More moves are surely coming, as cornerback L'Jarius Sneed's $19.8M franchise tag counts against the current salary cap. The Chiefs find themselves in an interesting spot. Their championship core of Jones, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce is all under contract as the team attempts to chase a three-peat of Super Bowl victories. Sneed and his camp have permission to see what's out there for trade interest, although that hasn't manifested itself into a transaction. 

Kansas City can utilize a trade of Sneed or a restructure of Mahomes to gain some cap relief ahead of the start of free agency on Wednesday. They caught their biggest fish with Jones, however, so everything else is secondary now. As the reigning champions prepare for the new league year, the CEO of 'Sack Nation' is back in town.