The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, becoming champions once again in the process. With their Super Bowl LVIII victory, Andy Reid's team secured its third ring in five seasons and established itself as the class of the NFL world.
If Kansas City wants to continue its winning ways, some key offseason decisions will need to pan out. One of them pertains to star defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is slated to be a free agent right before spring begins.
All year long, Jones has been candid about his future with the organization. Admitting that he didn't know what the future brought, the 29-year-old reiterated that he didn't want to look too far into what was ahead of him. Speaking to the ESPN set following the Chiefs' Super Bowl win, a predictably excited Jones spoke about whether he wants to be a Chiefs long-term.
"I told (Chairman and CEO) Clark Hunt they've got to keep me here so we can keep this thing going," Jones said. "We've got something special brewing here. We have a lot of young guys that continue to get better throughout the year. (Running back Isiah Pacheco) going into his third year and with guys like that, we can continue to carry this thing, man."
This is a positive answer from Jones, and one that goes along with his responses from during the year. Even while he was holding out, the two-time All-Pro was steadfast in saying he wanted to be a lifetime Chief. During the previous offseason, Jones's camp and the team couldn't agree on a multi-year contract extension due to a gap between the player's demands and what the team was comfortable offering. In the end, Jones and the Chiefs ironed out a new one-year contract for the 2023-24 campaign that was incentive-heavy and allowed him to potentially recoup his holdout losses and then some.
Just last week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said there were still "a lot of good feelings" between Jones and the Chiefs despite the holdout. It makes sense for both sides to revisit contract talks, although coming to terms is another story. Most outlets project a multi-year deal in the range of up to $30 million for Jones on the open market, and even Spotrac's "low" estimate of $28.4M per year is still sizable. Both of those figures would be slightly cheaper than a franchise tag for 2024-25, albeit a tough pill for Kansas City to swallow nonetheless.
It takes two to tango when it comes to extensions, and Jones may find something greater in free agency from a financial standpoint. With that said, he'd be hard-pressed to land the same combination of winning culture, familiarity and consistency elsewhere. What it comes down to is the bottom line, as a proverbial hometown discount shouldn't necessarily be expected. Jones wants to stay in Kansas City; time will tell if that mutual sentiment leads to a deal being struck.