Getty Images

One of the top items on the Kansas City Chiefs' offseason to-do list has to do with All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, who's among the best players at his position and looking for a new deal. Earlier in February, the Chiefs made the decision to pick up an option in his contract, which both pays Jones the $4.25 million he earned in incentives, but also gives the club the right to place the franchise tag on him, according to NFL Media. The window to exercise this option was seven days after the Super Bowl

According to The Athletic, there is "growing optimism" that the team will be able to retain Jones on a new contract before free agency, which would negate the need to use the tag. If he is not signed or tagged, then Jones will hit unrestricted free agency. 

Jones, of course, held out for 51 days this offseason due to his contract situation, and even missed the regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions. Jones didn't get an extension, but returned to the team after modifications were made to his deal with incentives that gave him the ability to earn more money in 2023. CBS Sports cap expert Joel Corry wrote earlier this month that there was a provision designed to force Kansas City to pick up the option. 

Jones said at the Chiefs' Super Bowl parade that he's not going anywhere, and wants to be in Kansas City for the three-peat. Jones, who turns 30 in July, is projected to sign a three-year, $85,450,884 contract which carries an AAV of $28.4 million, according to Spotrac's market value tool. That hypothetical contract would make Jones the second-highest paid defensive tackle behind Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams ($31.6M AAV), or second-highest paid defensive end/pass rusher behind Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers ($34M).

Now that the Chiefs have the right to franchise-tag Jones, it's something to watch. Jones' franchise tag projects to be $32,169,912 because of how the 120% of prior year's salary provisions work with the designation, per Corry. 

While he missed one game in 2023, Jones picked up his second straight First-Team All-Pro selection, and fifth straight Pro Bowl while racking up 10.5 sacks, 29 QB hits and 13 tackles for loss to go along with his third Super Bowl ring.