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Some details on Chris Jones’ new contract come to light

Kansas City’s star defensive tackle can earn up to $6.75 million in bonuses — but very little counts against 2023.

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Late on Monday afternoon, we learned that the Kansas City Chiefs and defensive tackle Chris Jones had agreed on a new one-year contract that would replace the final year of his existing contract — and end his holdout for a contract extension.

But that’s all the information we were given.

On Tuesday morning, some of the contract details are trickling out — starting with this tidbit from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

This ends the speculation that the team gave Jones a no-trade clause.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio revealed some additional details.

He gets $1 million for participating in 35 percent of the defensive snaps. He gets another $1 million for participating in 50 percent of the snaps.

He had an existing $1.25 million incentive for reaching 10 sacks. That now increases to $1.75 million if he has 15 sacks.

Also, he gets $1 million is he’s named a first-team All-Pro and if the Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl. He gets another $2 million if he’s named defensive player of the year and the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.

These incentives total $6.75 million. Added to his new base salary of $18.4 million ($19.5 million less $1.1 million for missing last Thursday’s game), Jones could earn $25.2 million in 2023.

Normally, we could now do a careful analysis of which parts of these incentives are likely-to-be-earned (LTBE) and which are not likely-to-be-earned (NLTBE), so we could figure out how this new deal will affect Jones’ salary-cap number for 2023. But on Tuesday, we learned something new.

So just one part of the total $6.75 million in incentives was already in Jones’ contract: the $1.25 million incentive for reaching 10 sacks. This bonus was considered NLTBE in 2022, but was LTBE in 2023 after Jones had 15.5 sacks in 2022 — so it was already part of his 2023 cap hit.

The means that if Jones earns them, the $5.5 million in new incentives will all count against the 2024 cap. Jones’s 2023 cap number will actually decrease by the $1.1 million in salary he lost by not playing against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night, along with the unearned $500,000 workout bonus that was previously part of his cap hit for this season.

Jones will now count $26.7 million against the cap, which is $1.6 million less than $28.3 million it had been before. With this change, Kansas City will be $6.1 million over the salary cap when the team activates Jones from the Reserve/Did Not Report list.

Unless the team also receives a roster exemption for Jones (which is probable) the team will also have to cut another player, thereby reducing the cap overage by amount of the released player’s cap hit.

This means that before Jones can be moved from Reserve/DNR, the team still has work to do on the salary cap — unless Kansas City has chosen to convert some of Jones’ $18.4 million base salary to a signing bonus. Some of that bonus could then be carried into a void year (or even void years) added to the end of his one-year contract.

So far, this is not a trick that Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach has used to create cap space — but considering that the team is retaining its option to franchise-tag Jones in 2024, void years might not end up being void years after all.

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