NFL rumors: Chiefs pave the way to Chris Jones extension with two massive roster decisions

The Kansas City Chiefs have officially made the crucial Chris Jones extension a much more realistic possibility.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Rob Carr/GettyImages

Balancing the salary cap is perhaps the most difficult of jobs for an NFL executive. The mechanism is important as it creates parity across the league between rich and poor teams and essentially requires all teams to play by the same wage and benefit rules for NFL players.

Sometimes, that rubs up against meritocracy, though, and players that general managers would otherwise be all-in on keeping, they have to turn down to prioritize other issues in the roster building game.

Such will be the challenge for Brett Veach this offseason. Coming off a Super Bowl win, they'd like to keep superstar pass rusher Chris Jones in tow on a long-term extension. He held out of the first game last year before the team agreed on a one-year deal. But Jones's extension will be massive, and keeping him and other important pieces will be near impossible.

Veach is sending signals that Jones is the priority with recent moves.

Chiefs make cuts, franchise tag to pave way for Chris Jones

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Jeremy Fowler first reported that the Chiefs are saving $12 million in cap space by cutting Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

MVS being cut is a logical move. While a good receiver, the entire Chiefs receiving corps struggled last year, leading the league in drops. MVS only tallied 316 receiving yards last year on 42 targets. His yards per reception and receptions per game both dipped to career lows.

Then, Jordan Schultz reported that L'Jarius Sneed is getting the franchise tag. That will cost over $19 million, but will allow the Chiefs to prioritize Jones and then get back to Sneed.

Players generally dislike the tag because it results in them losing any control they have over where they play and for how long. Plenty become training camp holdouts after franchise tag as a public rally against it to generate some leverage for a longer deal. But this essentially promises that if Sneed wants to play this year, he'll have to negotiate through the Chiefs. It doesn't mean he will only play for the Chiefs -- he could be traded -- but it means Kansas City retains a good deal of control with his future.

Now, all eyes turn to Chiefs GM Brett Veach to get the expected Chris Jones deal done.