The Chiefs won the Super Bowl in February and almost immediately had to confront a couple of financial hurdles.
It's not uncommon for a title-winning team to see roster changes happen overnight. Competitors often pillage the teams enjoying the mountaintop a little over a month after they've reached it. But for the Chiefs, this was a matter of figuring out how their most important puzzle pieces would fit together.
That began with the chief piece (no pun intended) wearing No. 15. When Kansas City struck a 10-year deal with Patrick Mahomes that left some cap space available for Chiefs general manager Brett Veach to spend elsewhere, a once-strained relationship between another key player and the organization suddenly turned positive.
A little more than a week later, defensive tackle Chris Jones was also under a new contract for the long haul.
"I had a feeling the deal was going to get done," Jones told reporters Monday. "When Pat's deal got done ... Pat text me and said let's get this thing done, I left some on the table, let's get this thing done. That's when I had the security that me and [the Chiefs] were going to work something out. I was confident in that."
Previously, the future wasn't looking too bright for Jones and the Chiefs, who used the franchise tag to keep him from reaching unrestricted free agency in a bid to buy more time to get a deal done. The defensive tackle and the team had gained little traction on a new deal during the offseason, and he was tweeting ominously about potentially not playing at the start of July, much like current Jets running back and former Steelers star Le'Veon Bell once did while also under the franchise tag.
All of that reversed course rather quickly once the Mahomes deal was complete. On Monday, Jones was smiling while answering questions about his new contract, while Veach explained how highly the organization views Jones.
"Over the last few years, Chris has proven to be an elite player at his position and one of the best defensive players in the NFL," Veach said, per team reporter Matt McMullen. "We feel he's just scratching the surface and we're expecting great things to come."
With the money handled, it's time for Jones to resume a career that landed him in the Pro Bowl in the 2018 season, has seen him rack up 33 sacks over four campaigns and also secured him a sparkling Super Bowl LIV ring. Sack Nation lives on in Kansas City.