Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones Could Secure Record Payday with Monster Super Bowl

Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones Could Secure Record Payday with Monster Super Bowl

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Superstar Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones has a supersized task in the Super Bowl, going up against the Philadelphia Eagles‘ marvelous offensive line.

But Jones’ No. 1 challenge this week is an opponent so small, it cannot be seen: A nasty virus. Jones felt so lousy Wednesday that he had to excuse himself multiple times during his news conference to blow his nose.

“I’m a little sick,” Jones said. “I’ve got a sore throat, runny nose, runny eyes. I don’t know what happened. Yesterday, last night, I was amazing. Today I’m a little sick.”

Jones insisted he’ll be fine by Sunday’s big game. The Chiefs better hope the self-prognosis is right. They have very little chance of slowing the Eagles’ uber-efficient offense without him.

Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones is Basically Unstoppable

Assuming he’s good to go, Jones is a dark horse pick for Super Bowl MVP (as of Wednesday, he had the eighth-best odds at +5000, per Caesars Sportsbook). If he performs as he did in the AFC Championship Game, Jones will probably be the best player on the field.

He had five quarterback hits, three tackles for loss, and two sacks — the second coming on the Bengals’ final offensive snap. That massive play forced a punt and set up a game-winning field goal that sent Jones and the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.

And while we won’t know until Sunday night whether he can maintain that dominance, Jones might have already seen the future in his sleep.

“What’s crazy, honest to God, what’s crazy is I had a crazy dream last night about the Super Bowl,” Jones said. “I don’t want to talk about it. I’m very superstitious. But I had a crazy dream about the Super Bowl last night. They tell you if you talk about a dream, it won’t come true.”

Chris Jones’ Contract Situation

No matter what happens on Sunday, Jones will enter the 2023 offseason underpaid. He’s owed $20 million in total compensation in 2022. But that’s $10 million less than what Spotrac estimates as his market value AAV.

The Chiefs should rectify that pronto. Jones is entering the final season of his four-year, $80 million contract extension.

And while he wouldn’t talk too much about a potentially record-breaking offseason Wednesday, he certainly suggested that he wouldn’t say no to more money — thirty million annually would be the second-biggest contract ever awarded to a non-quarterback, behind only the Rams’ Aaron Donald.

“I never really worry about that,” Jones said. “I’ve got agents for that. It’ll eventually work itself out.”

PFN: Do you deserve to be the highest-paid pass rusher in football?
Jones: “Do you think I should be the highest-paid pass rusher in football?”

I do, but my opinion doesn’t matter.
“Mine doesn’t either.”

Do the Chiefs think that?
“We’ll see.”

Chiefs Know Chris Jones’ Value

What makes Jones one of the best defenders in football is his versatility. He can play all over the defensive line, and that position flexibility gives opposing offensive lines fits.

“Any time you’ve got elite guys, especially someone who’s in the middle of the whole thing, I think it makes everyone else around them better,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “Chris does that for us. What’s nice is we can move him a bunch of different places.”

Jones had probably the best season of his career in 2022. He led all defensive tackles in sacks (15.5), hurries (16, first in the NFL), pass-rush win rate (21%, first in NFL), and pressures (46, third in NFL). He was also second in quarterback knockdowns (13). Jones’ missed tackle rate was just 2.2%.

And Spagnuolo believes Jones — who at just 28 years of age is already eighth on the Chiefs’ career sack list (65) — is still getting better.

“I thought he improved a lot defending the run,” Spagnuolo added. “We all know what kind of pass-rusher he was. He’s always going to be good at that because he’s gifted. But sometimes when you’re that tall as a defensive tackle, it’s hard to play with leverage like you need to against the run. I think he’s done a better job with that this year.”

And if Jones needs a closing pitch in his potential pursuit of the new contract, he should ask his teammates to make it for him. They absolutely love him.

Shortly after the Chiefs took defensive tackle Khalen Saunders with the 84th pick of the 2019 draft, Jones hit him up on social media.

“That shows you what kind of leader he was, because that was actually during his contract talks and all of that,” Saunders said. “They’re like, ‘Oh, he’s holding out,’ but he was still communicating with me, with all the other guys. He was showing he was a team-first guy. A lot of guys in that situation are all isolated from the team. ‘I want my contract. I’m not talking to anybody.’ Chris was never like that.”

Saunders added: “He [is] always texting me, helping me with the professional stuff, helping me get my weight together and stuff like that. He’s always been involved. I knew I was going to have a good teammate before I even stepped foot in [Chiefs camp] my rookie year. He’s maintained that throughout this entire time to help me grow as a professional. I’m just happy to be able to help him now, help him on the field and help him when there’s a sack to be had. Covering him, it’s a privilege.”