Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones knows there’s a chance Super Bowl LVIII could be his final chapter in Kansas City.
“I know there’s a possibility this could be my last game with the Chiefs. You just take it all in,” Jones said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I’ll let the offseason do its thing. I don’t really focus on it. I’m not too worried about it. After everything is settled and the dust clears, we’ll see where we’re at.”
Jones and K.C. agreed to a one-year, $19.5M deal after he held out in Week 1. In 16 regular-season games, he logged 10.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and 29 quarterback hits, earning a second consecutive first-team All-Pro nod.
However, salary-cap considerations often overrule on-field performance. OTC projects the Chiefs will have $24.07M in cap room, making massive extensions more challenging. His market value is a three-year deal worth $28.4M annually, second at his position.
Using the franchise tag on him isn’t cheap, either. Former sports agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry estimates franchising Jones again will cost $32.16M, the largest tag for a non-QB in league history.
Jones accepting a hometown discount seems unlikely. The 29-year-old is still in his prime and wants to be fairly compensated before his career ends.
Regardless, he can show why he deserves a massive payday Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Per Pro Football Focus, 49ers QB Brock Purdy has been pressured on 39 percent of his dropbacks, well above the league average.
If Jones and company can generate pressure, it might fluster Purdy, helping the Chiefs capture their third championship in five years. Kansas City aims to become the first team to repeat since the 2004 New England Patriots.