The Chiefs are going to pony up a lot of money in extensions in the next month.
If you’re bowled over by big numbers, prepare yourself. Over the course of the next 30 days, the Kansas City Chiefs are likely going to commit more money than any previous month-long span in team history.
With big-money extensions in the works for both quarterback Patrick Mahomes and defensive lineman Chris Jones, the next month should feature some remarkable announcements in terms of the financial commitments made by the Chiefs organization. Of course, in return, the team will be locking up two young leaders and stars for several years to come—a decision that should keep them in Super Bowl contention every year of those contracts.
The deal that makes the most sense to complete in the next 30 days specifically is for Jones. Given the NFL’s deadline to complete a long-term contract extension for players who have been offered the franchise tag on July 15, the Chiefs now face a countdown of one month to get a deal done. If the Chiefs and Jones cannot work out a long-term extension, then they must wait until the end of the season to pick up those talks.
The deadline is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but a lot can happen during a season on either side. If Jones puts up another stellar season (and he was truly taking his game to a new level in the postseason last year), he’s going to be that much more expensive along a defensive front that would seriously sink without him. On the flip side, if Jones were to suffer an injury, he’d lose whatever leverage he has.
Fortunately everyone involved is saying and doing all the right things. Public statements and sentiments have been positive from both parties—team and player—while all negotiations have been private. There’s been very little posturing with the media to alter contract talks, and it looks as if the runway is clear for a safe landing, so to speak. The Chiefs actions have also shown an interest in a long-term deal given that they failed to sign or draft anyone who could remotely fill Jones’ role if they were to trade him. Yet forcing him to play out the season on the franchise tag after stating they wanted a long-term deal would poison the well.
For Mahomes, there’s no urgency to get a deal done here but Clark Hunt and anyone else speaking on behalf of the Chiefs have stated their desire to get something done soon anyway. Mahomes’ deal is going to be such an outlier that it shouldn’t be contingent on other young quarterbacks signing deals. However, the team will likely reap the benefits of extending such good will to their young star, not only with the player and his representatives but also fans anxious to keep Mahomes in Kansas City for as long as possible.
As for the finances involved, Jones deserves every bit of a $20 million annual take and Mahomes could double that at $40 million. That means the Chiefs could potentially commit $60 million per year for the next few seasons to two players in the next 30 days. It’s safe to assume those are likely the biggest checks signed by the Chiefs in any month prior.