In the wake of Patrick Mahomes’ half-billion-dollar deal, Chris Jones grew with confidence.
The process of a contract extension was a slow-moving one for the Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Negotiations were unsuccessful as he held out of workouts prior to the 2019 season, and he remained away from the Super Bowl champs this offseason in search of long-term financial security.
When news broke of Mahomes’ 10-year mega extension earlier this month, the All-Pro quarterback picked up his phone and offered words to his teammate.
“Pat texted me and said, ‘Let’s get this thing done. I left some on the table. Let’s get this thing done,’” Jones told reporters during a Zoom video conference Monday. “And that’s when I had the security that me and the Chiefs were going to work something out. I was confident they were going to make sure we’d get something done.”
One week after the Chiefs dished out the largest payday in sports history, they made Jones the third-highest-paid defensive lineman with a four-year deal worth up to $85 million.
That solidified 20 of the 22 starters from the Super Bowl back on the roster. First came short-team flexibility with the salary cap due to Mahomes’ deal, where big dollars don’t kick in until 2023, then seeing the picture unfold for Jones.
“It just shows the understanding me and Pat have about creating a dynasty in Kansas City,” Jones said. “We both have the same goals — create a dynasty, build something special, especially in Kansas City with coach (Andy) Reid and all the talent we have there.
“We all have the same mindset — we want to keep this team together. So whatever we have to do financially to make sure that we stay together and we also keep guys around us together, we can come together and do that.”
While general manager Brett Veach offered constant reassurance to Jones and his representatives, it was a process that came down to within 24 hours of the franchise tag deadline. With unknowns surrounding the salary cap and the need to keep a roster complete, steps had to be taken for Jones to get his share.
The offseason brought the additions of DeAndre Washington, Mike Remmers and Taco Charlton and the re-signing of Demarcus Robinson and Bashaud Breeland. With the Mahomes deal setting the structure for a possible Jones deal, the Chiefs were able to strike a chord.
“We certainly had some obstacles to overcome,” Veach said. “We were just trying to go through all the scenarios. Again, we don’t know where the cap is going to be. But we have to have plans in place for whether it grows, stays the same, it dips (and) at what levels.
“But once we got to a level where we felt comfortable over the next few years that we have enough game-planning in place to protect ourselves, we felt good.”
The trust Jones has in his general manager, referring to him as “my dog” since signing, will set the foundation for the 26-year-old Mississippi State product to set his eyes on lofty goals. He has plans to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. He told 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City he plans to win five-plus championships.
The movie in Jones’ eyes ends with a gold jacket and a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I always wanted to stay with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jones said. “The game is bigger than just financial. It’s my passion. It’s what I love to do.”