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Holdout ends as Kansas City Chiefs star Chris Jones agrees to contract: details

The Kansas City Chiefs have reached an agreement with holdout defensive tackle Chris Jones, the team announced Monday afternoon.

It’s a one-year contract, according to the Chiefs, but it includes multiple incentives for Jones to earn considerably more money this season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported details of the incentives Tuesday morning, saying Jones’ $19.5 million base salary would remain the same minus his missed game check, which totaled just over $1 million. Jones now can receive extra money for:

• 35% playing time ($1 million)

• 50% playing time ($1 million more)

• 10 sacks ($1.25 million, this one already existed before the new deal)

• 15 sacks ($500,000 more)

• First-team All-Pro and Super Bowl appearance ($1 million)

• Defensive player of the year and Super Bowl win ($2 million)

Florio reported the maximum value of Jones’ base salary this season is now $25.167 million. That, though, does not factor in money lost after Jones missed mandatory minicamp and training camp.

“Chris is an elite player in this league, and over the last seven years he’s really developed into a leader of our team.” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “He’s been instrumental in our success and Super Bowl championship runs and it was a priority for us to keep him in a Chiefs uniform.”

Jones had missed organized team activities, training camp, the preseason and the Chiefs’ season opener while holding out. He attended the Chiefs game last week when they lost to the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football at GEHA Field at Arrowhead.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Jones is coming off an All-Pro season. He’s won two Super Bowl rings in his seven seasons with the Chiefs.

Jones, previously in the last year of his current contract, was hoping to cash in this offseason on a lucrative, long-term deal. That led to his holdout, and according to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, a player under contract with unexcused late reporting or absence from preseason training camp is subject to a mandatory fine of $50,000 per day.

His fines for missing this year’s camp and the first regular-season game exceeded $2 million.

Jones registered 15 1/2 sacks last season. At the start of training camp, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he was “a bit surprised” that Jones had decided to hold out.

That might’ve been because Jones handled his previous contract negotiations with the Chiefs differently. When nearing the end of his rookie deal in 2019, Jones sat out mandatory minicamp before eventually reporting to the start of training camp. After that season, the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Jones before the two sides reached their current four-year agreement in July 2020.

Jones earlier sat out June’s mandatory minicamp this year while waiting on his new deal, and according to the NFL’s CBA, that resulted in a maximum fine of $98,753. He also missed the team’s ring ceremony for its Super Bowl LVII victory, though he later said on social media that he didn’t attend because he was sick.

In earlier months, Jones has shared his affection for the Chiefs. That included a social media post in March responding to a fan, as Jones was asked if an extension was coming soon.

“I’m a chief for life,” Jones tweeted on March 12. “I will not play for another franchise.”

Jones addressed his Chiefs holdout during a charity outing in Kansas City last week, saying he expected to play again for the team right away once he was signed.

Last Wednesday, at that event, Jones said that he didn’t think there was any animosity between his side and Veach. Jones described the ongoing negotiation as “just a little disagreement,” later saying, “They feel like this is what I deserve. I feel like I deserve more. Just a misunderstanding.”

The Chiefs play at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.