During the press conference that announced the Kansas City Chiefs signing of quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year contract extension, there was a clear message that Mahomes and general manager Brett Veach wanted to send about the structure of the deal and what roster flexibility it gives the team.
A theme of this press conference: Mahomes wants to be able to keep great players around him.— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) July 7, 2020
Is this a hint at Chris Jones? #Chiefs
We now know that the sentiment that was continually repeated throughout the presser was not just a general point about the roster. Star defensive tackle Chris Jones has signed a four-year deal with the Chiefs — and during Monday’s press conference, he revealed that Mahomes pushed for Jones to re-sign after his own contract was finalized.
“When Pat’s deal got done, Pat texted me and said, ‘Let’s get this thing done. I left some on the table; let’s get this thing done.’
“And that’s when I had the security that me and the Chiefs were going to work something out.”
Everyone knows how close Chiefs players are on and off the field, but this is a higher-level relationship between teammates. Two summers spent negotiating a long-term contract that he undoubtedly believes he deserves probably wasn’t fun for Jones. A message from another teammate that was paid before him may not have been well-received no matter the contents — but this isn’t a typical NFL locker room.
These two were close enough to factor in each other’s contract while negotiating their own:
- Mahomes and his team made it very clear that they intended to allow the Chiefs to retain elite talent around him. The intention for that could have been further into the contract — but they chose not to impact his salary cap numbers for these next two years purposefully. Any more immediate cap impact would have made the Jones deal that much less likely.
- Jones was wise enough to understand that Mahomes’ deal was a priority and was a necessary precursor to his own. Even then, he had reason to be upset about reportedly not getting a fitting offer. It could have escalated into a trade demand or public bashing of the organization, but he continued to trust his agents and the Chiefs while he tweeted cryptically.
Later in the press conference, Jones talked about the mentality that’s shared between Mahomes and him.
“We both have the same goal of creating a dynasty, building something special in Kansas City with coach Reid and all the talent we have here. We all have the same mindset, we want to keep this team together, so whatever we have to do to make sure that we stay together.”
The run it back mantra is not just a social media hashtag. The players want to play together and believe in the locker room they have. That overall belief made the successes of this offseason easier to accomplish — but it all started with Mahomes. His determination to sign a flexible contract has allowed Jones to earn the salary he deserves while staying with the team he wants to play for.