Surprise NFL contender should pull out checkbook for Chris Jones

This surprise NFL contender needs to give Chris Jones whatever he wants in NFL Free Agency

Chris Jones
Chris Jones / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Chris Jones will be one of the biggest difference makers available in all of 2024 NFL free agency, maybe even the most impactful non-quarterback available. Aside from Aaron Donald, there probably haven't been any interior defensive linemen who make as massive of an impact week after week as Chris Jones, and the Chiefs have obviously benefitted greatly from his presence.

But the reigning back-to-back champions could lose one of their prized players in the 2024 offseason as Jones's contract situation makes it very tough for the Chiefs to afford the franchise tag. And tagging Jones after the negotiations he and the Chiefs have had in recent years would cause a ton of friction between the player and the club, especially one he's helped win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Jones will likely be one of the best players to actually hit the open market, and in my mind, there's one clear and obvious team that needs to give him a blank check and tell him to name his price.

That team is the Houston Texans.

The Texans are equipped with over $60 million in salary cap space heading into the 2024 offseason. The emergence of rookie quarterback CJ Stroud this past season has put them in a position to be aggressive in NFL free agency. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has consistently prioritized the defensive front in terms of the level of investment and talent dating back to his time in San Francisco.

Chris Jones could go to a state with no income tax and truly get the most possible money on what will likely be the biggest contract in average annual value and guaranteed money over the course of his entire NFL career.

This just makes sense.

It's a championship-caliber move from a team like Houston that remains one of 12 NFL teams never to have won a Super Bowl, and one of a handful that has never even played in the game. A move like this could really push the Houston Texans from "surprise contender" into the "expected contender" category with the way Ryans calls a defense.

This is a roster that was dismantled and borderline embarrassing right before the Deshaun Watson trade. The Texans had nobody at the crucial positions all around their roster and now feature some of the league's top young players at each of them. Imagine a defensive front with Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson, likely franchise tag candidate Jonathan Greenard, and a piece like Chris Jones...

There might not be a better non-Chiefs fit around the league for Jones to consider.