The Kansas City Chiefs are reigning champions for a good reason that extends beyond a high-powered offense.
As tight end Travis Kelce said Friday, the Chiefs have established a winning culture, which has convinced key players (Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones) to stick around for more.
"I think there's a lot of reasons, man," Kelce told reporters after agreeing to a $57 million extension on Thursday. "One is because we got great guys in the locker room. We got great guys in the facility, great people in the facility. And overall, it's a fun atmosphere every single time you come to work. Guys don't want to leave that. Guys want to keep building off of that.
"And it's a beautiful thing when you have ownership trust in you, want to make change with you, in terms of the season and the community, and then on top of that just going out there playing football with guys who come to work every single day and fight their tail off for you. It's a beautiful thing. You know what, this community, Kansas City, I love you and I'm thankful that I'm going to be here for the next six years."
Kelce became the latest Chief to sign up for the long haul with his four-year extension. The "next six years" include those four additional seasons, which are tacked onto his existing deal, setting up for Kelce to stick around in Kansas City through his age-35 season.
That might seem preposterous, but Kelce hasn't showed any signs of slowing down. The conversation in the NFL pivoted in 2019 from including Rob Gronkowski to just deciding between Kelce and George Kittle for the title of league's best tight end. It's no coincidence that each of them received new deals on the same day.
There's no guarantee Kelce plays well enough to be worth the $17.25 million he's scheduled to earn in 2025, but that's not what really matters. Thanks to excellent cap gymnastics and personnel decisions -- covered in a fantastic examination of the Chiefs' financial situation by our own Kevin Patra -- the Chiefs are in a position to win now and win plenty for the next few years.
Kelce signed up for that type of success. He'll get to run it back many more times with those with whom he won a title last season. More rings could be in their future.