To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t giving stud defensive tackle Chris Jones the opportunity to test the open market this offseason.
On Monday, ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs are expected to place the franchise tag on Jones. The 25-year-old is projected to make approximately $15.36 million under the tag.
While Jones is now locked in for the 2020 season, here are three reasons the Chiefs need to be proactive and reach an agreement on an extension with the star defensive tackle.
No surprise, but Chiefs are placing franchise tag on DT Chris Jones today, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
Jones will get showered with love for his ability to clog the middle of the trenches, and rightfully so. However, his valiant efforts on obvious passing downs when he moves outside often get overlooked. There, Jones can either collapse the pocket or contain the opposing quarterback’s outlet targets. That versatility only bolsters his value on Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
Folks, why do we really think that the Chiefs were able to piece together the sixth-best pass defense in the NFL this past season? We’ll tell you this much: it wasn’t because the team had world-beaters (other than safety Tyrann Mathieu) in its secondary. Cornerback is undoubtedly a more valuable position than defensive tackle, but Jones leading the charge up front lessens the burden on Kansas City’s secondary. There’s a reason the likes of Bashaud Breeland, Morris Claiborne, and Charvarius Ward looked as good as they did in 2019.
Jones burst onto the scene in his second year in the NFL in 2017, when he logged 6.5 sacks, 13 QB hits, four forced fumbles, and one interception. In the two seasons since, he further established himself as one of the best interior defensive lineman in the league by recording 24.5 sacks and 49 QB hits. Jones commands double teams, and often produces despite opposing teams game-planning to neutralize him. The Pro Bowler has more than proved that he’s deserving a monster pay day, and he’d be near-impossible to replace on the open market.