Patrick Mahomes‘ contract has come up a few times this year, and once Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are extended, the issue figures to be a regular talking point. The most accomplished of the league’s current wave of 20-something quarterbacks has been passed over several times now, with no QB yet to follow Mahomes’ 10-year extension blueprint.
That 10-year, $450MM deal drew scrutiny in the moment, tying the game’s biggest star to a team for 12 seasons. Nine remain on the Chiefs quarterback’s contract. A rumor earlier this offseason pointed to the Chiefs restoring Mahomes as the game’s highest-paid player by Week 1. With Mahomes signed through 2031, the mechanisms of Kansas City doing so would be unusual. But the two-time MVP is not making an aggressive push for a new deal — at least not publicly.
“I’ve always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” Mahomes said, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “We see what’s going on around the league, but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it’s kind of teetering around that line.”
Whereas Rob Gronkowski‘s lengthy Patriots extension once gridlocked the tight end market for a stretch in the 2010s, Mahomes’ pact did not serve as a roadblock for other extension-seeking QBs. Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson have all passed Mahomes’ $45MM AAV number within three years. Teams have successfully made Watson’s fully guaranteed Browns deal an outlier, but Hurts and Jackson just signed for north of $50MM apiece on five-year re-ups. Questions about each dual-threat QB’s prime duration aside, both Jackson and Hurts may well be in position to cash in again later in the 2020s. Mahomes’ lengthy deal would, in a vacuum, not force the Chiefs’ hand.
Then again, GM Brett Veach said earlier this offseason the team would reexamine Mahomes’ contract once Burrow and Herbert signed. Seeing as not to enter a dispute with the biggest star in franchise history, the Chiefs would seem unlikely to refuse a renegotiation.
“You just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks [financially],” Mahomes said. “Whenever their contracts come up, you want to keep the bar pushing [higher]. It’s not about being the highest-paid guy; it’s not about making a ton of money. I’ve made enough money where I’ll be set for the rest of my life. But at the same time, you got to find that line where you’re making a good amount of money but you’re still keeping a lot of great players around you so you can win these Super Bowls and you’re able to compete in these games.”
When Mahomes signed his extension in July 2020, he passed Wilson’s AAV lead by $10MM and only did so because he signed off on the unusual term length. While the Chiefs included a rolling guarantee structure that locks in money a year out, Mahomes will likely soon see his deal trail the game’s salary leader by more than $10MM. Burrow or Herbert ending up at $55MM per year or beyond that point is not difficult to envision.
But the team-friendly deals Mahomes and Travis Kelce accepted in 2020 allowed the Chiefs to extend Chris Jones. The All-Pro defensive tackle has maintained top form and is now in a contract year again. The Chiefs, who passed on paying Tyreek Hill top-market money and let the Patriots outbid them for JuJu Smith-Schuster, will also have second-round standouts Creed Humphrey and Nick Bolton in contract years in 2024. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed became extension-eligible in January, though the Chiefs have avoided paying corners for most of the Andy Reid era.
“If you look at the greats in the league, they find that right spot where they’re getting paid a lot of money but at the same time keeping a lot of these great players around,” Mahomes said. “… I understand you look at the team and you’ve got guys like Chris and Sneed and even Travis — all these guys that you need to keep around you to have these great teams. But at the same time, you want to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.”
Not all the QBs around the league have operated this way; Mahomes doing so has certainly aided the Chiefs. With the two-time Super Bowl champion not exactly shutting down the idea of a renegotiated deal, this will be a key NFL storyline as the Bengals and Chargers navigate their respective negotiations.
20 comments on “Patrick Mahomes Addresses Contract”
“You just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks [financially],” Mahomes said”.
I doubt he actually believes that but it’s utter rubbish anyway. There is a brief window when an athlete is at his prime and he has to make the most of that financially. Your selling the GM a service that is perishable. If other QBs can’t provide an equal or better service to a team that’s their problem…not yours.
Brief time. This dude looks like he gonna play 20 years and he’ll also probably collect the most endorsement money off the field for the next 20 years. As long as he stays at the top and keeps reupping his contract every couple a years to help the team manipulate his cap hit he’ll walk away with more than 500+million in NFL earnings.
I believe what he says. I think his meaning is ‘Since I’m a top tier QB, I can’t take less money. This way the other QB’s in the league can earn more.’.
As for KC, it’s also a status symbol. They know they have the #1 in the league and want to pay him for that. Mahomes has stayed out of trouble & controversy as a pro. If his brother would follow suit, that would be great!
He’s under a 450 million contract. Until 2031. He has generational wealth and other contracts shouldn’t matter to him. He has made his. And he sure as hell isn’t giving any of it back if his performance declines or he gets injured.
You signed a contract. You gave your word by signing it. No matter what other contracts are.
And in doing such a long term deal, the Chiefs have security to work other contracts around for others. It’s a two way street.
Only sixty or so million was actually guaranteed at the time of signing, IIRC. So the Chiefs can cut bait at any time and be on the hook for very little money. If one side can just dump the player for whatever reason, is it really a “contract” and why shouldn’t the player also use that to their advantage?
What’s the point of extending a young player for 10 years/$450M only to reevaluate/revisit when another contract surpasses it a few years into the contract?
He needs more money upfront to bail is stupid brother out of jail
The 10 year contract was always meant to manipulated and reworked. Its originally designed was to play with the cap hit so his team can add more players.
Mahomes got nearly half a billion on his contract and he feels some obligation to push the goalposts farther? Not your job kid, not your job.
It’s actually the job of the players union to ensure those goalposts keep moving for it’s members.
And the players make up the players union
Each team has a rep but it’s actually DeMaurice Smith who faces off against Goodell when a new CBA needs to be negotiated.
But he’s getting the input from the players
He just wants to win he makes more money than anyone in endorsements winning is more important to him when all said and done he will have more Superbowls than Brady he is a class act for NFL and Kansas City
His comments clearly indicate he wants a raise, especially if they are in the order provided. Starts out with the usual “I care about winning” trope pro athletes always spew forth to gaslight fans into thinking they aren’t after money, then shifts to acting like he has to do it for the other QBs, and then finally on implying that while it is about making sure the team can keep good players, he has to take care of himself financially because 45 mil per year somehow isn’t enough to do that, despite previously saying he’s already made enough money for the rest of his life, the only honest thing he said.
This is all standard for pro athletes, save for only a couple of them who actually don’t care THAT much about making max money (Brady being the most well known example. He left tens of millions on the table during his career) and truly do care more about winning. Mahomes has it good right now and in prime position to challenge Brady’s record for winning but I expect his greed will ruin it and he’ll screw himself out of that shot.
Pro athletes are disgusting with their greed and yes, this is greed. If you signed a multi year deal then honor the damn thing and don’t be looking for more money a few years later just because other people get more per year than you. This is especially true when you have a contract like his that pays him a crazy amount of money in the first place.
I miss the days before pro sports contracts got out of control this century (heck, it’s mainly been over the last decade), along with athletes constantly crying as though them making 40+ mil a year isn’t enough to “take care of their family”, another stupid thing they often say. That crap they say is insulting to the average Joe making 45-50k a year yet its often the average Joe that goes and defends these clowns. It wasn’t like this in sports pre 2000s, especially pre 90s. Go look at contracts then and just shake your head at how insane they’ve become.
I’d love to see all pro sports crumble just so these clowns would be out of these cushy jobs they don’t seem to even appreciate. Unfortunately, there’s probably not enough jobs at Wal-mart and elsewhere for all these future pro athletes so most of them would probably turn to dealing drugs or theft, be thrown in jail, and then have taxpayers be taking care of them. Most of the current pro athletes would also be broke within a couple years of retiring since they’re some of the worst people when it comes to money management. I suppose one could argue this justifies their greed but it’s clear that it doesn’t matter how much money you give them as they will still be horrible with money. Could probably pay them 2 bil a year and most of them would be broke within 5-10 years after retiring.
Shimmysham – if you hate sports so much; why are you reading this? You make a lot of character assumptions with no facts to back them. Back in the early 2000’s, Manning always said as he signed a new deal that he owed it to all QB’s, past, present, & future, to take what the market would bear. Maholmes is saying the same thing. As for Brady being a non-greedy one that left millions on the table; don’t be so naive, he renegotiated to help the team, yes; but in doing so pushed his money out. He still got it! Also, his wife made 5 times what he did, so it’s not like he needed it. He showed his true colors in his Tampa days with his $50 mil contracts.
Mahomes would just stop talking about his contract if he’s smart. His management team should be focused on the endorsements like Brady. Mahomes can make money in endorsements than on the field, if he can continue to get decent protection and have some reasonable weapons available to him.
It all crumbles around him if Mahomes goes all Jay Cutler/Carson Palmer/Philip Rivers/Joe Flacco/Kirk Cousins.
So you’re saying that Mahomes should take less and then go out and get a part time job to make up for his loss? Isn’t doing endorsements and commercials just another job?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. See the big picture. How does it help Mahomes to be the highest paid (salary) QB when KC becomes an also-ran due to excess salary cap spent on the QB – and as a consequence, Mahomes makes one third as much money in endorsements.
This would be giving up $50 million a year to earn an extra $7 million year. It would be a stupid thing to do. Brady was smart enough to trailblaze in this area. The model works.
Brady hardly did commercials. So you think Mahomes gets 50 million dollars a year in endorsements? I’m paying State Farm too much. Maybe you’ll give up some money at your job so your boss can hire someone else and then you can get a part-time job at Home Depot to make up for your loss. Your company will be better off, which is the most important thing