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Kansas City Chiefs ‘optimistic’ that All-Pro player will sign extension this summer

Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year finalist Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs is entering the final year of his current contract.

The defensive lineman is set to earn a base salary of $19.5 million for the 2023 NFL season, far below his market value.

Jones sat out mandatory minicamp earlier in the offseason. There’s also speculation that he’ll be a holdout from Chiefs training camp if a new deal is not agreed to.

The good news? Things seem to be trending in the right direction based on recent reporting.

“The Chiefs would like to give him (Jones) that long-term extension. I’m told that they are still optimistic that this will get done, likely before training camp for Chris Jones,” report from ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on SportsCenter.

There are several things to look at here. The defending champions would actually lower Jones’ $28 million cap number for next season if they were to sign him to an extension. With Kansas City just barely under the salary cap, it makes sense from a short-term perspective. Remember, the Chiefs are among the teams linked to Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on the NFL free agent market.

Related: Chris Jones and the NFL’s top 100 players of 2023

Kansas City Chiefs extending Chris Jones makes perfect sense

chris jones contract kansas city chiefs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to Hopkins, the Chiefs might want to look at some other veterans who are still available on the open market. General manager Brett Veach is typically active at this point in the NFL offseason calendar. Creating flexibility as the Chiefs look to repeat as champs should be the ultimate goal.

It’s also important to note that Jones was among the most-dominant defenders in the league a season ago.

Part of creating a winning culture is keeping your star players healthy. That can’t just include Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in Kansas City.

Right now, Jones is the seventh highest-paid defensive tackle on a per-year basis. He’s obviously outplayed that market.

Given the MO we’ve seen from the Chiefs in recent years, the aforementioned report about an extension makes sense. Look for something to happen here within the next couple weeks before Kansas City Chiefs training camp opens.

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