Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is set to make his season debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. However, his offseason is expected to be intriguing due to the Chiefs’ salary cap situation.
The revised agreement between the Chiefs and Jones does not prevent the team from using their franchise tag on him. However, it is unlikely that they will be able to do so due to their projected salary cap constraints in 2024. If the Chiefs were to tag Jones after the season, it would cost them around $32 million. With their salary cap already tight, it would be challenging for them to create enough room to accommodate Jones’s tag without releasing or restructuring contracts of several players.
As a result, it is highly unlikely that the Chiefs will use the franchise tag on Jones, making him an unrestricted free agent in 2024. Despite this uncertainty, there is still a possibility of Jones returning to Kansas City. The Chiefs and Jones have had a strong relationship, and Jones has expressed his desire to stay with the team. Despite the holdout during the summer, the Chiefs still value Jones and are open to his return.
Jones’s return for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars is crucial for the Chiefs’ defense and their long-term chances. Head coach Andy Reid has confirmed that there are no personal issues between him and Jones, and they have moved past the holdout. Jones is ready to contribute and has a positive attitude.
In terms of playing time, Jones is expected to be used primarily on passing downs and important defensive plays. Depending on how he feels, he could play anywhere from 20 to 30 plays against the Jaguars.
In addition to his base contract, the Chiefs have added several incentives to Jones’s one-year deal. He can earn $1 million for participating in 35% of the defensive snaps and an additional $1 million for participating in 50% of snaps. If he reaches 10 sacks, he will receive $1.25 million, and an additional $500,000 if he reaches 15 sacks.
Furthermore, Jones has the opportunity to earn additional bonuses if he is named a first-team All-Pro, if the Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl, or if he is named Defensive Player of the Year and the Chiefs win the Super Bowl. In total, Jones could earn up to $6.75 million in incentives.
Overall, while Jones’s offseason promises to be intriguing due to the Chiefs’ salary cap situation, there is still a possibility of him returning to Kansas City. His return for Sunday’s game is crucial for the team’s defense, and the Chiefs value his contributions. Although the franchise tag is unlikely, Jones has the opportunity to earn additional incentives based on his performance throughout the season.