Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, a 2022 First-Team All-Pro who turns 29 on July 3, enters the 2023 season in the final year of his four-year, $80 million contract that he signed in the 2020 off-season, and he has made it clear how important it is to land his next deal. On Wednesday, Jones stated that he is coming for his first Defensive Player of the Year award, definitively declaring that he will be the NFL’s top defenseman in 2023.
Jones finished third in the DPOY voting last season behind San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who led the NFL with 18.5 and co-lead the league in quarterback pressure with 90, and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who also co-captained the league in quarterback pushing with 90. Jones bagged his career high with 15.5, the fourth-highest in the league, while finishing fifth in quarterback pushing with 77 last season.
In terms of the type of deal Jones might be looking for, three-time DPOY winner and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s three-year, $95 million contract tops the domestic defensive line market in both total value and average per year. Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons’ four-year, $94 million deal ranks second in both categories. According to OverTheCap.com, Kansas City currently ranks last in the NFL in cap room available for 2023 ($409,942), but the Chiefs are projected to have $51.2 million in cap room available in the 2024 offseason, the 12th in the entire league. General manager Brett Veach could get creative with the structure of a potential Jones deal to make sure it works for their limit going forward, something he said he believes will work.