When the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to get Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech nobody really knew what to make of it. Anyone who watched him in college knew he had a strong arm, but they weren’t sure how his skills would translate to the NFL.
Well one MVP award, two Pro Bowls and Super Bowl championship later, everyone knew that Mahomes was going to get a record-setting deal, but nobody knew quite how the numbers would shake out. Well today became the day we would find out as Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the superstar quarterback was going to sign a ten-year extension with the Chiefs, on top of the two seasons he had remaining on his rookie deal, tying him to the Chiefs for the next 12 seasons. Schefter is also reporting that Mahomes’ new contract will be worth up to $503 million with an injury guarantee of $140 million and a no-trade clause.
In the short-term this deal is great for both sides. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL in a lot of people’s opinions and some think that if he continues on this trajectory for an extended period of time he could be the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL. That’s why it makes sense for the Chiefs in the short-term.
On top of that the team will be able to continue spreading money around to other players as they try and win more championships while having arguably the best quarterback in the league.
For Mahomes this deal makes sense in the short-term, long-term, medium-term, and any term you can come up with. He’s getting the richest contract in NFL history and he’s going to be locked up for the next decade with the same franchise. On top of that, with Mahomes being one of the faces of the league, he’s not going to be struggling for money off the field either in terms of endorsements.
While locking up your best player to a flashy contract like this is something that is going to excite fans and bring in great PR, it is something that could very well and will likely hurt the Chiefs in the future. As mentioned, Mahomes might be the best quarterback in the NFL, in my opinion it’s really not that close, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
However, in sports we have seen these mega deals time and time again come back to bite the team giving out the deal in the long run. A number of those examples come from Major League Baseball, where there isn’t a real salary cap. We have also seen it happen with countless quarterbacks in the NFL.
Granted those quarterbacks weren’t Mahomes, but there have been plenty of good quarterbacks on good teams get paid very handsomely and not very long into the deal the team has to get rid of other players that helped make the team good or great because they’re paying the quarterback so much.
A recent example that comes to mind is Russell Wilson. Wilson is also one of the top quarterbacks in the league and deserves a huge paycheck, but once Seattle signed him to a massive contract other key players from their 2013 Super Bowl team and 2014 NFC title winning team were quickly gone because the team could just not afford to pay them.
That’s a bridge that Kansas City will have to cross very soon. They will have to decide which players from their Super Bowl winning team this past season they want to keep and who they feel they can replace in the draft for a much cheaper price tag.
The main thing working in favor of Kansas City when it comes to which players they will have to keep and how they will manage their roster over the next decade is that they’ve had a couple years to prepare for this because it’s been obvious to everyone that Mahomes was going to eventually sign a record deal.
Kansas City also didn’t really have a choice because if they didn’t give Mahomes basically whatever he wanted he could force his way out and if you’re the team it’s going to be tough having so much of the salary cap tied to one player, but when he’s a generational quarterback you might as well roll the dice with him because having a good to great quarterback is so important in the NFL, and Mahomes is as elite as they get.
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