Two people familiar with the negotiations confirmed the agreement, which the Chiefs later announced.
“Chris is an elite player in this league, and over the last seven years, he’s really developed into a leader on our team,” General Manager Brett Veach said in a statement released by the team. “He’s been instrumental to our success and Super Bowl championship runs and it was a priority for us to keep him in a Chiefs uniform.”
Jones is a four-time Pro Bowl selection who had 15.5 sacks last season and is among the NFL’s most dominant defensive players. He has 65 sacks in his seven NFL seasons, all with the Chiefs.
We have agreed to a new one-year contract with Chris Jones.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 11, 2023
Jones had one season remaining on a four-year, $20 million contract that was to pay him $19.5 million this season. The two sides did not extend the deal but apparently reworked it by adding incentives. Jones reportedly has amassed more than $2 million in fines; he was fined $50,000 for each day he missed during his holdout. The Chiefs cannot rescind those fines, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The Chiefs were missing Jones and Travis Kelce, their eight-time Pro Bowl tight end, for their 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thursday night in the NFL’s season-opening game. Kelce was on the game-day inactive list because of a knee injury suffered in practice two days earlier. Jones reportedly watched the game from a suite in Arrowhead Stadium.
Their absences were glaring. The Chiefs’ wide receivers dropped several passes, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes missed his security-blanket pass-catcher at tight end. The defense suffered some late-game lapses while the Lions crafted a winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
The defending Super Bowl champions play Sunday in Jacksonville and could have both Jones and Kelce back in the lineup.