Andy Reid says Chris Jones still has “room to grow and learn” with the Chiefs.
Four years into his NFL career, Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones has already become a one-man wrecking crew. If you trust his head coach, Andy Reid, Jones still hasn’t found his ceiling as a player.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs made Jones the latest player to sign a big-money contract with the team, completing an unexpected offseason in which the team was able to bring back 20 of 22 starters from their Super Bowl winning roster. Jones was a major part of the team’s defensive success in recent years, especially in their championship run last year. Despite plenty of doubters who wondered about the Chiefs perceived lack of cap room, general manager Brett Veach was able to make it happen.
The Chiefs released statements from both Veach and Reid on Wednesday concerning the move to keep Jones on the team for the next four seasons at a potential cost of $85 million. Reid not only praised Jones for his efforts to date to earn such a large sum of money. He also stated that the best is potentially yet to come:
"“Chris is a player that is full of positive energy, and that enthusiasm carries throughout our entire locker room,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said. “He has the ability to make plays up front for us, which we’ve all seen plenty of times over the last four years. He’s come a long way since we drafted him and the best part is, he still has room to grow and learn. He’s earned this recognition, and I’m happy for him and his family.”"
This offseason, the Chiefs were expected to part ways with a few players due to their lack of cap space. Instead, the Chiefs got creative financially and restructured deals with both wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was supposed to be one of the players leaving town, and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. From there, the Chiefs re-signed several key free agents and then signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Jones to large contract extensions.
Jones was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time last year, but he’s been recognized as one of the league’s best pass rushers over the last couple seasons. He set an NFL record with a sack in 11 straight games in 2018, and his 33 career sacks in four seasons from the defensive interior show just how dangerous he can be for opposing quarterbacks.
Jones is now officially signed through the 2023 season.