KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs’ push to repeat as Super Bowl champions got a significant boost on Tuesday, with reports that the team has agreed to a four-year deal with standout defensive tackle Chris Jones.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. ESPN’s Adam Schefter echoed the development a short time later.
This means the Chiefs have retained practically all of the team’s key pieces from last year’s squad. This follows news from last week when the Chiefs locked up franchise cornerstone Patrick Mahomes for the next 12 years with a 10-year deal.
The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Jones earlier in the offseason, which would have earned the former Mississippi State bulldog more than $16 million this season.
The four-year deal is reportedly worth $85 million. The deal includes $60 million in guaranteed money according to the Associated Press.
The teams had until Wednesday to reach a long-term agreement.
The AP reports that Jones and the Chiefs were pretty distant in negotiations until the Mahomes deal was finalized, giving general manager Brett Veach and the rest of the front office clarity on the team’s salary cap situation.
Jones has blossomed into a star on the defensive line, playing in 61 of 64 possible games since he entered the NFL in 2016. He’s collected 33 sacks, forced seven fumbles and recovered one himself.
He’s earned one trip to the Pro Bowl and has an eye-popping nine passes defended in six playoff games. While he flipped between right and left defensive end his first three years, collecting 15.5 sacks in 2018 alone, he settled in at tackle in 2019 as part of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnulo’s scheme, helping solidify a stronger run defense.
While the offense is to be credited for a remarkable fourth quarter comeback in the Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers, Jones was key to closing the deal.
Up 24-20 with less than two minutes to play, Jones swatted down two Jimmy Garoppolo passes, one targeting nemesis Deebo Samuel, as the 49ers reached midfield.
A Garoppolo overthrow followed by a Frank Clark sack gave the ball back to the Chiefs, and the rest was Kansas City history.
The Chiefs stars sporting fresh contracts tweeted approval of Tuesday’s happenings shortly after the news broke.
FOX4 Sports is following developments with this breaking story, we’ll have more on FOX4 News at 5 and 6 p.m.