Chiefs Rumors

Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes Agree To Restructured Deal

The Chiefs have revisited the contract in place with their star quarterback, agreeing to a signficant raise in the short- and intermediate-term future. Patrick Mahomes has agreed to a revised contract in which his compensation through 2026 is guaranteed, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter notes that Mahomes will receive $210.6MM between now and 2026, the most in league history across a four-year span. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network adds the two-time Super Bowl MVP can earn up to $218.1MM over that stretch via escalators. He and the Chiefs will reconvene after the 2026 campaign to address their relationship, as that year now essentially marks the end of his monster extension first signed in 2020.

That 10-year. $450MM pact has regularly led to speculation a signficant revision would be coming at some point down the road. After several (less accomplished) passers inked mega-deals of their own which exceeded his $45MM AAV, plenty have pointed to this offseason as a time when the defending champions may bring their passer back toward the top of the pecking order in terms of annual compensation. Schefter adds that Mahomes – who sat ninth in that regard after Joe Burrow‘s Bengals extension was signed – will now move “near the top” of the pile.

Knowing the likes of Burrow, Jalen HurtsLamar Jackson and Justin Herbert would be in line for enormous second contracts this offseason, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in April that Kansas City would wait for those pacts to be signed before addressing the Mahomes situation. Each member of that quartet took turns holding the title of the league’s highest-paid player on a per-year basis, eclipsing the $51MM AAV mark along the way.

A report emerged in May indicating the Chiefs may have an agreement in place by Week 1 ensuring Mahomes moved back to the top of the heap. That timeline has proven to be slightly off, but the just-turned 28-year-old will now carry on with the 2023 season knowing his future for the remainder of the campaign (and the three following it) is in a more certain position. The move comes not long after All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones signed a revised one-year deal to end his holdout in Kansas City.

“I’ve always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” Mahomes said in the spring“We see what’s going on around the league, but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it’s kind of teetering around that line.”

With Jones back in the fold – and open to a new Chiefs deal keeping him in place beyond 2023 – and cost certainty now having been attained with Mahomes – Kansas City can proceed with a clearer financial outlook. The team’s Super Bowl window will likely remain open as long as the latter is healthy, but efforts to maintain as many core pieces as possible will remain a top priority with Mahomes occupying a large portion of its cap sheet.

The two-time league MVP will continue to face massive expectations given not only the success he has enjoyed to begin his career, but also the move on the Chiefs’ part to accelerate substantial cash flow over a relatively short period of time. With the end of the 2026 season now looming as a (practical) end to his deal, it will be worth watching how he performs until that point with respect to his future earning potential.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/23

Today’s callups and adjustments heading into Week 2:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Chris Jones, Travis Kelce To Play In Week 2

SEPTEMBER 15: After practicing during the week, Kelce will indeed take the field in Week 2, Reid confirmed on Friday (via Teicher). With both he and Jones in the fold, the Chiefs will be well-positioned to rebound from their season-opening performance as they look to repeat last year’s postseason win over the Jaguars.

While it was already known Jones would be in the lineup on Sunday, SI’s Albert Breer notes the team will monitor his workload closely. No pitch count is planned as of now, but after missing all of training camp, it will be interesting to see how much he will see the field in his return.

SEPTEMBER 13: Patrick Mahomes looks like he will have more help against the Jaguars than he did against the Lions. The Chiefs will have Travis Kelce back at practice Wednesday, marking a good step for the future Hall of Fame tight end.

Kelce will log a limited practice session today, which represents a positive sign for his prospects of suiting up in Jacksonville. Kelce missed Week 1 after suffering a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise during the Tuesday practice leading up to Kansas City’s Week 1 game against Detroit. Seeing as the Chiefs had not been without Kelce due to injury since 2013, his absence proved noticeable in a game in which both Mahomes and Kansas City’s inexperienced receiving corps struggled.

Andy Reid also confirmed (via ESPN’s Adam Teicher) Chris Jones will return to action against the Jags. The Chiefs reached a revised agreement with Jones to end his lengthy holdout. While Jones is not guaranteed to recoup what he lost by holding out and missing Week 1, an incentive package is present for the dominant defensive tackle.

Jones pushed his holdout longer than Zack Martin or Nick Bosa and did not achieve what he sought — an Aaron Donald-level extension. While he is a strong candidate to reach free agency, the Chiefs have not given up on an extension that would keep him in Missouri on a long-term third contract. The Chiefs having franchise-tagged Jones in 2020 would run his 2024 tag number past $32MM. For perspective, it cost the Commanders $18.94MM to tag D-tackle Daron Payne this year.

Although the Lions’ run game moving the chains on a Jones-less defensive front helped key the upset victory, the Chiefs’ passing attack became a bigger story. Kansas City won Super Bowl LVII after trading Tyreek Hill, but the team also relied on Kelce and, to a lesser extent, JuJu Smith-Schuster last season. Reid confirmed the Chiefs were not close to matching the Patriots’ three-year, $25.5MM Smith-Schuster offer, and while plans for Kadarius Toney as a WR1 existed early this offseason, the ex-Giants first-rounder has proven inconsistent at every turn since being drafted. The injury-prone wideout’s drops plagued the Chiefs in Week 1, with their other young receivers not moving the needle much during a sluggish opener. A first- or second-team All-Pro selection in seven straight years, Kelce returning will at least provide a sturdy safety net for Mahomes.

In other Chiefs news, they restructured veteran guard Joe Thuney‘s deal. The move, which ESPN’s Field Yates notes frees up $8.7MM in cap space, will make room for Jones’ $19.5MM base salary. Jones had resided on K.C.’s reserve/did not report list. Thuney, who signed a $16MM-per-year deal in 2021, is under contract through the 2025 season. The Chiefs will need to make a decision on the 31-year-old blocker by next year, when his cap number spikes to $26.97MM. Thuney will almost certainly not be brought back at that rate, pointing to another contract-related move coming.

Chris Jones Addresses Holdout, New Chiefs Deal

Questions about how long Chris Jones‘ holdout would last were answered on Monday when he agreed to a new one-year deal with the Chiefs. The fact he is still set for free agency at the end of the campaign leaves his future in doubt, but he reiterated his desire to remain in Kansas City when speaking publicly about his situation.

Jones was absent from training camp and the Chiefs’ Week 1 loss, decisions which led to over $2MM in fines and a missed game check of $1.1MM. Incentives in his reworked pact will allow the All-Pro to recoup the money he walked away from, and a massive statistical performance (coupled with team success) would allow him to slightly outpace the earnings he was originally scheduled for. With an agreement in place, Jones is set to make his 2023 debut in Week 2.

“I’m super pleased with how it turned out,” the 29-year-old said when asked about his decision to return to the team, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher“I’m back in the building. I’m excited to be back, thankful for the organization. They [were] able to boost my salary up to make up for the fines and everything. I’m super grateful for that.”

Jones’ presence will be a welcomed sight for a team which has relied heavily on his interior pass-rushing abilities during his career. He matched a personal best with 15 sacks last season, and reaching that mark again will trigger one of several play-time and performance-based incentives in his new contract. With no new years added to his pact, though, it remains to be seen if team and player will remain interested in continuing their relationship beyond this season.

A report from yesterday indicated that is the case. Jones – who could still be franchise tagged in March, if resumed extension negotiations fail to produce a multi-year accord bringing his annual compensation closer to that of Aaron Donald, the leading DT earner – confirmed he holds no ill will toward the organization and is hopeful a free agent departure will not ensue.

“I think you as a reporters and fans kind of misconstrue the contract thing,” he added. “It is never personal. I don’t think I started hating Coach [Andy] Reid or I started disliking [GM Brett] Veach. I love Veach. He knows I love him. We had on and off conversation throughout it all… I don’t think our relationship was affected any [by] that. They know how much I love this organization. They know how much I love this team, and I don’t think that affected any part of our relationship.”

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/23

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Waived from IR: DL Tautala Pesefea Jr.

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Dogbe has found his next gig after getting waived by the Jaguars during final cuts. The former seventh-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the Cardinals, appearing in 40 games. He took on a bigger role over the past two years, compiling 55 tackles in 29 appearances. He joined Jacksonville this offseason before earning his walking papers.

Myles Gaskin is back on an active roster following an unceremonious end to his Miami tenure. The running back had 1,818 yards from scrimmage across the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but he saw a limited role with the Dolphins in 2022. He joined the Vikings practice squad at the end of the preseason and was elevated to the active roster for their season opener.

Chiefs, Chris Jones Open To Extension

After viewing the Chiefs’ season-opening loss in an Arrowhead Stadium suite, Chris Jones will be on track to suit up against the Jaguars in Week 2. In an arrangement similar to the Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs agreements, Jones is back with the team with some sweeteners added to his through-2023 deal.

Jones’ contract still runs only through season’s end, and with the franchise tag prohibitive due to the Chiefs having tagged him 2020, has a decent chance to reach free agency next year. But the Chiefs have not ruled out keeping Jones on another deal, per’s Albert Breer, who adds there is no bad blood in this situation.

Both Jones and the Chiefs are open to revisiting talks on a contract that would keep the All-Pro in Kansas City beyond this year, Breer adds. Though, the Chiefs not being willing to move into Aaron Donald territory for Jones now obviously runs the risk of the dominant interior pass rusher leaving in March. The Chiefs’ exclusive negotiating rights with Jones run until the 2024 legal tampering period. Without the franchise tag as a likely deterrent, as it would run the Chiefs more than $32MM to cuff Jones in 2024, the team would enter crunch time with its top defender between season’s end and the tampering period that kicks off free agency.

This situation also reminds of the Chiefs’ failed negotiations with Orlando Brown Jr., who cited insufficient guarantees in the team’s offer before the July 2022 deadline to extend franchise-tagged players. Although the Chiefs could have re-tagged the Pro Bowl left tackle for just less than $20MM, they passed and let Brown hit the market. Brown’s overall money with the Bengals (four years, $64.1MM) did not match the Chiefs’ proposal (six years, $139MM), but the veteran blocker will collect $42.35MM over the Cincinnati pact’s first two years and be better positioned for another big-ticket deal sooner. The Chiefs proposal included $38MM guaranteed at signing.

In terms of age and accomplishments, Jones (29) would be poised to become one of the best defensive players to hit free agency in many years. It would be interesting to see what kind of market would form for the longtime Chiefs defensive centerpiece. With the salary cap expected to balloon in the $250MM range — which would mark a substantial increase from this year’s ceiling ($224.8MM) — it would seemingly be difficult for the Chiefs to finalize an agreement with Jones between season’s end and the market opening. But some time remains before that point.

Even after Week 1, a gap was believed to remain between the Chiefs and Jones on value. With Nick Bosa signing for $34MM per year, it will be difficult for teams to paint the Donald contract ($31.7MM AAV) as an outlier in terms of salary. The Chiefs were believed to have offered Jones a three-year deal that featured $24.7MM AAV. That number checked in barely above Quinnen Williams‘ figure. Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Jeffery Simmons and Daron Payne formed a second tier behind Donald. Arguing he is much closer to the Rams great than the younger lot of D-tackles, Jones pushed for Donald-level money.

With none of these players hitting the market, Jones could be months away from finding out what a top-flight D-lineman is worth when a bidding war ensues. For now, however, the eighth-year D-tackle will aim to help the Chiefs shake off an 0-1 start and attempt to defend their Super Bowl title.

Chiefs, Chris Jones Agree To Revised Deal

SEPTEMBER 12: Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the new deal has the same base value of $19.5MM as it did before (minus the $1.1MM Jones lost out on by missing Week 1). Incentives can push its value as high as $25.17MM, though, meaning Jones has the potential to come out slightly ahead of what he would have earned by not holding out and incurring more than $3MM in financial penalties.

$2MM is available via playing time incentives, and Jones will earn that amount with a snap share of at least 50%. An additional $1.75MM is in place if he records 15 sacks, and another $1MM for again receiving a first-team All-Pro nod. A Defensive Player of the Year award and another Super Bowl will yield an extra $2MM.

Notably, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler adds the Chiefs will still have the option of franchise tagging Jones at the end of the season. Doing so would come at a cost of roughly $32.4MM, representing a 120% increase from his 2023 cap hit of $27MM. That would be a pricey endeavor on Kansas City’s part, but it would prevent Jones from hitting the open market in his bid to land another multi-year accord.

SEPTEMBER 11: After a high-profile holdout, Chris Jones is set to return to the field. The All-Pro defensive tackle has agreed to a revised one-year contract with the Chiefs, as his agency announced on Monday. The team has confirmed the news.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that no new years have been added to Jones’ deal, meaning he is still only on the books for 2023. He adds, however, that Jones can earn “considerably more money” than the $19.5MM in salary he was originally due to make given the presence of incentives on this new agreement.

Jones was absent from the team through training camp, a move which resulted in more than $2MM in fines being racked up. The threat of forfeited weekly game checks did not seem to dissuade his holdout lasting through the start of the regular season, as he hinted at an absence stretching into Week 8. That will no longer be the case, though the 29-year-old added to the compensation he has walked away from by missing a $1.1MM game check in the Chiefs’ season-opening loss.

After seeing a number of young defensive tackles sign lucrative second contracts, Jones made it clear he was aiming to move much closer to Aaron Donald in terms of annual compensation. The latter’s $31.67MM AAV was unmatched in terms of all defensive players until Nick Bosa signed a record-breaking 49ers extension last week. Still, a gap existed between Donald and a pack of other DTs (led by Quinnen Williams) with respect to earnings and guaranteed money. Jones appears to have met his goal of at least moving into second in the position’s market.

The four-time Pro Bowler was connected to an asking price of $28MM per year on a three-year extension, while Kansas City has been reported to be treating Donald’s Rams accord as an outlier. The Chiefs picked up talks with Jones not long before the start of the regular season, but little progress was known to be made before the team’s Thursday night defeat. In the aftermath of that contest, he still appeared as though the sides were not close to working out an agreement.

No long-term deal has been worked out, meaning Jones will still be able to hit the open market in March. That is, of course, unless this new agreement does not include a provision preventing the Chiefs from being able to use the franchise tag to keep Jones in place for 2024. Such a move would be likely if the Mississippi State alum were to continue his high-end production, which included 15.5 sacks last season (matching a career high) en route to helping the Chiefs to another Super Bowl title.

“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“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… Through this process two things were obvious, Chris wanted to be a Chief, and the Katz brothers worked diligently on his behalf.”

While further details are yet to emerge, Jones is now set to make his return, something which will pay substantial dividends for the defending champions. It will be interesting to see where he winds up relative to Donald in terms of earning power and the structure of his reworked pact.

Gap Remains Between Chiefs, Chris Jones

SEPTEMBER 11: With the Chiefs’ Week 1 loss in the books, they are no closer to working out an agreement with Jones, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports notes (video link). The All-Pro is in line to continue missing $1.1MM in game checks for every week which he remains absent, which will progressively lessen his financial gain if/when an extension is signed. However, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones adds that the two-time Super Bowl winner is aiming for a figure close to Donald in its own right, not to simply sit second in the DT pecking order. With no progress being made, the parties appear likely to remain at an impasse.

SEPTEMBER 7: Hours from the Chiefs’ opener, they face the prospect of their second- and third-best players not being on the field. Travis Kelce is dealing with a knee hyperextension and bone bruise, and Chris Jones‘ holdout is well into its second month.

Jones may be at Arrowhead Stadium tonight, but’s James Palmer notes the All-Pro defensive tackle would be stationed in a suite — to watch the Chiefs raise a third Super Bowl banner — as his teammates suit up to face the Lions. While an interesting development given Jones’ current circumstances, the Chiefs are believed to be OK with the D-tackle holdout being present for the pregame ceremony.

The seven-year veteran said Wednesday (via The Athletic’s Nate Taylor) he could suit up tonight were a deal agreed to, but both’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo indicate nothing is close (video links). This refrain has persisted for weeks, leading to this undesired outcome. Jones will miss Kansas City’s first game, and while a 10-day gap resides between now and the team’s Week 2 trip to Jacksonville, Nick Bosa‘s five-year, $170MM extension introduced a new complication into these proceedings.

The Chiefs had attempted to treat Aaron Donald‘s $31.7MM-per-year Rams pact as an outlier, aiming to have Jones’ third contract come in closer to the recently formed second tier Quinnen Williams currently tops (at $24MM AAV). Jones was connected to a $30MM-per-year ask earlier this summer but was recently tied to a $28MM-AAV aspiration. The Chiefs, in turn, are believed to have offered a $24.7MM extension. With Bosa now at $34MM per year, that could lead to another snag here.

Donald has held the top D-tackle salary since he signed a six-year Rams extension just before the 2018 season; the Rams authorized a landmark raise (with no new years added) after a retirement threat. While Donald’s 2022 update still leads the pack at D-tackle by a wide margin, Bosa’s new AAV affects the pass rusher market on the whole. With Jones being the only pure defensive tackle in the sack era (1982-present) with two 15-sack seasons, the Chiefs cornerstone may adjust his argument after seeing Bosa’s holdout alter the pass-rushing salary landscape.

Indicating he did not want to be a distraction to his teammates as a hold-in, Jones confirmed (via Taylor) he is seeking a raise ahead of the final season of a four-year, $80MM contract. Jones wants more money upfront in his next deal, Garafolo adds. Williams’ $47.8MM guarantee at signing tops all defensive tackles. T.J. Watt‘s $80MM had led the way for all defenders, but Bosa’s not-yet-known full guarantee number almost definitely surpasses it. Jones, 29, is likely seeking a guarantee well north of Williams’ number.

This holdout happening entirely to avoid distracting his teammates would be quite the expensive gesture on Jones’ part. The former second-round pick has racked up $2MM-plus in nonwaivable fines. The 49ers were able to waive Bosa’s due to his holdout occurring on a rookie contract. Floating out the possibility his return may not happen until the Week 8 deadline for a player to report and earn an accrued season toward free agency, Jones is the last holdout standing. Rumors this impasse would be resolved before training camp once circulated. He will soon follow in Donald’s footsteps by missing Week 1 on a holdout. Would Jones really be prepared to sacrifice more than $10MM in total by showing up around the midseason point?

The Chiefs will go into Week 1 with recently re-signed DTs Derrick Nnadi and Tershawn Wharton in place. The team also made a rare trade with the Raiders, obtaining 2022 sixth-rounder Neil Farrell to go with rookie sixth-rounder Keondre Coburn. For a Chiefs team that moved on from Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap and has UFA pickup Charles Omenihu starting a six-game suspension, losing Jones will severely restrict its pass rush. Kansas City has first-round defensive ends George Karlaftis and Felix Anudike-Uzomah as its top edge investments.

2023 Offseason In Review Series

Quarterback acquisitions generated top headlines this offseason, while the slew of developments affecting the running back market moved that position’s value to a precarious point. On that note, our latest Offseason In Review series is in the books. Here are the PFR staff’s looks at how teams assembled their 2023 rosters:

AFC East

AFC North

AFC South

AFC West

NFC East

NFC North

NFC South

NFC West

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/7/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Waived from IR: LB Ryan Smenda

Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans

The Chiefs hinted at Travis Kelce‘s status for tonight’s season opener when they added a tight end to the active roster. Matt Bushman was undrafted out of BYU in 2021 and has spent much of the past two years on the Chiefs’ practice squad. With Kelce inactive, Bushman could make his NFL debut tonight, although he’ll be behind Noah Gray and Blake Bell on the depth chart.