Patrick Mahomes

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Broncos, Raiders

Everyone has known for a while now that when Patrick Mahomes signs his first contract extension, it’s going to involve some eye-popping numbers. The Chiefs are expected to pursue an extension sometime after the draft, and there has been a lot of chatter about Mahomes becoming the first player to eclipse $40MM in annual salary. While he wouldn’t get into specifics about negotiations, Mahomes made it clear in a recent interview with Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports that he’s in Kansas City for the long haul. “I want to make sure I do it the smart way and do it the right way, and so I don’t know exactly which way that is, yet. I know that my people and the Chiefs’ people will talk about it, and will do it at the right time and for the betterment for the team. But I’m excited to be a Kansas City Chief for a very long time, and I know that’s going to be handled the right way because of the people the Kansas City Chiefs have in their organization,” he explained.

There has been some speculation the Chiefs will try to get him on somewhat of a team-friendly deal in order to spread their cap resources around, similarly to what the Patriots have done with Tom Brady. Mahomes is going to get paid big-time either way, but he did seem to indicate that keeping their core together is a priority for him. “Whichever way possible, we’re going to do it and we’re gonna try to keep as many people on this team as we possibly can that won the Super Bowl this year so we can run it back again next year,” he said.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Speaking of the Chiefs, they made a couple of assistant coaching moves today. Quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka has been given the additional title of passing game coordinator, and the team hired Andy Hill as a special teams assistant. The Eagles were interested in Kafka for their offensive coordinator vacancy, but Kansas City was ultimately able to retain him. All the way back in October we heard that Kafka was well-respected in the league and considered by some to be a future head coach. The former backup quarterback is the latest in a long line of Andy Reid assistants to get buzz.
  • The Broncos have a crowded backfield, but it’s about to get a little thinner. Both Devontae Booker and Theo Riddick will be allowed to walk in free agency, sources told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). Booker was drafted by Denver in the fourth-round back in 2016, and had an up and down career with the team. He was the team’s starter for some of his rookie season, and he often played a big role on passing downs. At the same time, he was often relegated to the bench for extended stretches. 27 now, it’ll be interesting to see how his market develops. Riddick is another passing-downs specialist who signed with Denver this past summer after a productive six-year run with the Lions. He ended up missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, although Klis notes that he is healthy now and has been medically cleared. He’s 28 now, and will likely have a tough time finding much guaranteed money coming off the injury.
  • The Raiders are believed to be interested in signing linebacker Nick Vigil, sources told Adam Caplan of Sirius XM NFL Radio and Insidethebirds.com. Vigil, an impending free agent, spent the first four years of his career with the Bengals. He started all 16 games for Cincy this past season, racking up 111 tackles and five passes defended. Vigil will likely be seeking a decent-sized contract, and he should have a relatively strong market. Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther coached Vigil in Cincinnati, so there’s a lot of familiarity between the two sides.

Chiefs Targeting Post-Draft Patrick Mahomes Extension?

After claiming their first Super Bowl championship in 50 years, the Chiefs now have one of modern sports’ most important contracts to complete. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are expected to negotiate a new deal this offseason, although Clark Hunt indicated a new deal is not necessarily a lock for 2020.

The Chiefs and Mahomes are not expected to finalize anything until after the draft, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (video link). This contract will certainly make the reigning Super Bowl MVP the NFL’s highest-paid player, but the 24-year-old superstar is also cognizant of the contract’s impact on the Chiefs’ roster, per Pelissero. Following Super Bowl LIV, Mahomes said he would like to stay in Kansas City for a long time.

Kansas City has some key issues to address, in addition to Mahomes’ market-shifting deal. Chris Jones is a free agent and is a logical candidate for the franchise tag. Travis Kelce has outplayed his $9.4MM-per-year pact and may soon see George Kittle reset the stagnant tight end market. And Sammy Watkins is set to carry an untenable $21MM 2020 cap number.

A new collective bargaining agreement being finalized before the new league year begins in March also represents a key component to the Chiefs’ Mahomes negotiations. Of course, the longer the organization waits, the more the price will rise. Mahomes is set to make just $735K in base salary next season. It seems unlikely the 2018 MVP would return under those terms, even if the Chiefs have him under team control through 2021.

The Eagles and Rams extended their 2016 first-round quarterbacks after their third seasons, though the Cowboys remain in talks with Dak Prescott. Mahomes’ new deal should either approach or surpass $40MM AAV, which would then have a sweeping effect on how future quarterback negotiations unfold and reshape how future Chiefs rosters are constructed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Notes: Super Bowl, Mahomes, Reid

For the first time in 50 years, the Chiefs are champs. And, after their thrilling come-from-behind victory, many say the Chiefs won’t have to wait nearly as long for their next Super Bowl trophy.

Two, three, four – we’re going to build a dynasty here,” defensive tackle Chris Jones said last night (via Nancy Armour of USA Today). “To see that confetti fall – but this ain’t the only time. Kansas City, we’re fixing to build something special here.”

The dynasty is just starting,” tight end Travis Kelce declared. “We’re motivated to do it again. For sure.”

Building a dynasty in the NFL is easier said than done, but the Chiefs are loaded with talent (especially on offense) and have their core players all signed for the foreseeable future. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, but it’s also hard to dismiss the possibility that we could be witnessing the start of a dominant run for Kansas City.

Here’s more on the champs:

  • After winning the biggest prize in football, Patrick Mahomes reiterated his desire to stay with the Chiefs. “That’s stuff that’s handled with other people,” Mahomes said. “Obviously, I want to be in Kansas City a long time. I want to win a lot of football games.” The Chiefs, obviously, want to lock Mahomes down for years to come, but they don’t necessarily have to hammer out an extension this offseason. Mahomes still has one more year to go on his rookie deal – after that, the Chiefs can use the fifth-year option to hold him through 2021. When the deal finally happens, Mahomes could become the league’s first $200MM+ player with average yearly salaries in excess of $40MM/year.
  • Head coach Andy Reid, who secured his first Super Bowl trophy at the age of 61, isn’t thinking about retiring anytime soon. “I’ve got this young quarterback over here that makes life easy,” said Reid, in reference to Mahomes. Thanks to the extension he signed a few years back, the Chiefs have Reid under contract through the 2021 season.
  • Before the Super Bowl, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy confirmed that he is still eyeing a head coaching job. Given what he’s helped to build in KC, his big break can’t be far off.

Chiefs Owner On Patrick Mahomes Talks

The Chiefs, obviously, intend to lock up Patrick Mahomes for the long haul. It’s just a matter of how much it’ll cost – and when. On Tuesday, owner Clark Hunt indicated that the Chiefs could wait until next year to ink Mahomes to an extension.

[RELATED: Will Patrick Mahomes Get $40MM/Year?]

There will be a right time sometime in the next 12 to 15 months to extend Patrick, and when I say right time, I mean right time for both the player and the club,” Hunt said as the Chiefs prepare to face the 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl. “I don’t want to say necessarily it has to be this offseason, but I will say that it’s a priority to get him done. I hope Patrick is here for his entire career, and that’s going to be our goal.’

With his third pro season in the rear view mirror, the 2017 first-round pick is eligible for a brand new deal. The Chiefs, meanwhile, can wait things out a bit. He still has one more year to go on his base four-year rookie pact and the Chiefs can tack on another year via his fifth-year option for 2021.

When the two sides eventually reach an accord, Mahomes could become the NFL’s first ever $200MM+ player with an average annual value of $40MM or more. Those would be unprecedented numbers, but the same could be said for the QB’s stat line. In 2019, Mahomes logged 4,031 passing yards with 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Will Patrick Mahomes Get $40MM/Year?

Patrick Mahomes is Super Bowl bound. He’s also in line for a monumental payday. 

Last year, at the age of 23-and-a-third, Mahomes became the league’s youngest MVP since Dan Marino won the award in 1984. He didn’t disappoint in his encore, either. The grizzled 24-year-old threw for for 4,031 yards with 26 touchdowns against just five interceptions in 2019. He also threw in some dazzling running plays, for good measure, resulting in two more scores and 15 first downs.

His incomparable skillset and early accomplishments point to a historic contract. The NFL’s all-time average annual value (AAV) record is made to be broken and routinely shattered each year, sometimes by quarterbacks who are not considered to be among the league’s very best. Mahomes’ case is decidedly different – he’s simply from another planet, and some execs think he’ll cross the $40MM/year threshold.

I think he’s gonna get $40MM [per year], either over four or five years,” one NFC personnel evaluator told ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler.

Another NFC exec with negotiating experience mostly echoed that sentiment:”If Russell Wilson is at $35MM, then probably $37.5MM.”

Wilson’s deal with the Seahawks calls for $140MM across four years. Rams QB Jared Goff isn’t far behind with $134MM over the same stretch, with a whopping $110MM in guaranteed cash. Carson Wentz fell just shy with his four-year, $128MM Eagles extension. There will be new additions to this tier – including Cowboys QB Dak Prescott – but Mahomes is poised to top Prescott’s deal (whenever that happens) and set a watermark that won’t be approached for a while.

Mahomes’ rookie deal runs through 2020 and the Chiefs hold his fifth-year option to take him through 2021. Still, league officials say time is of the essence for KC.

If I were [the Chiefs], I would be as proactive as humanly possible,” one exec told Fowler. “If Jared Goff can get no offset language in his entire contract after three years in the league, then this specific player has all the leverage. I think $40MM would be Mahomes selling himself short.”

Will Mahomes net $40MM per year, or more, on his next deal? Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes Expected To Reach Extension This Offseason

The Chiefs are expected to finalize a new contract with star QB Patrick Mahomes this offseason, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link). The two sides have not done much work on an extension yet, but the team does expect a new deal to be in place in the coming months.

Rapoport says Kansas City wants to wait until after the first wave of free agency in March, at which point there will hopefully be a new CBA in place. Before giving Mahomes an inevitably record-breaking contract, the Chiefs want to know exactly how that contract will fit into the league’s collective bargaining framework.

We heard last January that KC was planning to extend Mahomes after the 2019 season, and obviously Mahomes has done nothing this season to suggest he is not worthy of a massive new contract. On the contrary, the third-year signal-caller turned in a second straight stellar campaign despite dealing with a sprained ankle and a scary-looking dislocated kneecap. He missed two games this season, but he still threw for 26 TDs against just five interceptions and lifted his team to a first-round bye.

Given his youth and talent, Mahomes may well land the league’s first $200MM deal. The Falcons’ Matt Ryan is the current standard-bearer in terms of total contract value ($150MM) and fully-guaranteed money ($94.5MM), and it seems likely that Mahomes will easily eclipse both of those figures.

The 24-year-old will lead the Chiefs against the Texans in next week’s divisional round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Cards, Mahomes, Jacobs, 49ers

David Johnson‘s usage this season has irked numerous fantasy owners, along with Johnson himself. The fifth-year running back has stayed off the Cardinals‘ injury report for weeks but has taken a backseat to trade acquisition Kenyan Drake. This pattern (and explanation for it) has not sat well with Johnson, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The $13MM-AAV back declined to address his future with the team but was not satisfied with the reason Arizona’s coaching staff gave him for his significant workload reduction (Twitter links).

Ankle and back maladies sidelined Johnson earlier in the year, but he’s been active for four straight games, seeing 12 total carries in that span. Although Johnson’s 366 receiving yards still have him on pace to eclipse his 2018 total, he is averaging less than four yards per carry for a second straight season. The three-year, $39MM deal Johnson signed in 2018 runs through 2021. The soon-to-be 28-year-old back’s $10.2MM 2020 base salary is fully guaranteed.

Let’s take a look at the latest from several other teams in the West divisions, starting with the status of the Chiefs’ most important player.

  • The bruised throwing hand Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered did not turn out to be a significant issue. Mahomes, who said Sunday night his hand “didn’t feel great,” returned to full practice Wednesday. The reigning MVP said (via ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher) Wednesday was the first day he could grip the football, but he’s expected to suit up against the Broncos. Mahomes has battled a sprained ankle and a dislocated kneecap but has missed just two games.
  • An MRI Josh Jacobs underwent produced good news for the Raiders running back. The offensive rookie of the year candidate is expected to play against the Jaguars on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jon Gruden, however, did not commit to the first-round pick playing in Week 15. Jacobs missed Week 14 with a shoulder malady he’s been battling, giving way to free agent-to-be DeAndre Washington.
  • Extensions for cornerstone 49ers DeForest Buckner and George Kittle will take precedence over retaining contract-year breakout defender Arik Armstead, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Armstead has been dominant in his fifth season, leading the 49ers with 10 sacks, but was inconsistent in his prior four seasons. With Armstead playing more at defensive end than D-tackle, it would cost them nearly $18MM to use the franchise tag. The 49ers tabled Buckner extension talks until 2020 and can begin negotiating with Kittle in January. The team is projected to hold $24MM in cap space — 25th-most in the league.
  • In addition to the ACL tear Rashaad Penny suffered in Week 14, Pete Carroll noted the second-year running back may have sustained more damage in his injured knee, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. The Seahawks running back’s upcoming surgery will provide more clarity on his timetable.

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes To Play Vs. Titans

Patrick Mahomes is back. On Sunday, the Chiefs quarterback will return to action to face the Titans, head coach Andy Reid announced. 

Mahomes recovered freakishly fast from a dislocated kneecap just a few weeks ago. The early fear was that Mahomes would miss the remainder of the season. Then, there were whispers of a faster recovery, but a quick bounce back still seemed unlikely given Mahomes’ reliance on speed and mobility.

The Chiefs franchise star has done the impossible yet again. After splitting their last two games, the Chiefs will have Mahomes under center as they look to improve from 6-3 to 7-3.

In seven games this year, Mahomes has completed 65.1% of his throws for 15 touchdowns against one interception. He also ran for seven first downs while averaging 4.8 yards per attempt on the ground. There’s nothing that Mahomes can’t do and, apparently, that includes healing up at warp speed.

Mahomes’ rookie deal runs through 2020 and the Chiefs hold his fifth-year option to take him through 2021. The Chiefs, naturally, want to lock Mahomes up for the long haul, and that contract could be the league’s first $200MM+ contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Eagles, Gordon, Mahomes

Running back Jordan Howard had somewhat of a breakout game last week during the Eagles’ win over the Bills, and now he’ll have a chance at revenge when he takes on the Bears on Sunday. Chicago, of course, shipped him off to Philly back in March. Howard got less and less productive toward the end of his time in Chicago, and he’s clearly enjoyed the change of scenery. Speaking to the media recently, the fourth-year back and impending free agent said he knows exactly where he wants to sign in the offseason. “I would love to be back,” Howard said, per Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports. “I’m loving Philly. So I would definitely love to be back. I’m loving my teammates and the city. I would definitely love to be back.” Howard turned 25 today (happy birthday Jordan), and has formed a solid one-two punch with rookie Miles Sanders. The Eagles’ running game has been a weakness the past couple of years, but it seems like things could finally be turning a corner.

Here’s more from around the league as we await kickoff:

  • The Seahawks were awarded Josh Gordon off waivers earlier this week, and some were surprised he lasted that long. Seattle was the only team willing to take the plunge though, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network passed along in a tweet that the Seahawks were the only team to submit a claim. They were 28th in the order, so that isn’t too shocking. Gordon won’t play this weekend, but with Tyler Lockett and promising rookie D.K. Metcalf also in the fold, the Seahawks quietly have one of the league’s more talented receiving corps.
  • While the Seahawks were the only team to try and claim Gordon off waivers, they would’ve faced significant competition had he hit the open market. Nine teams wanted to bring Gordon in for a workout and a physical, his agent told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Florio points out that teams might’ve thought they could get Gordon for cheaper than his $2MM salary if they waited until after he cleared waivers. The fact that so many teams wanted to see him workout before adding him also suggests there might be some lingering concern about his knee injury that cause him to go on injured reserve in the first place.
  • For a while it’s been assumed that the Chiefs aren’t going to rush Patrick Mahomes back and play him on Sunday against the Vikings, but that’s apparently not set in stone. There is still a chance Mahomes will suit up, sources told Ed Werder of ESPN (Twitter link). It would still be pretty surprising, and for now it’s safe to assume Matt Moore will be under center for the second consecutive week. In other Kansas City news, Werder writes that stud defensive tackle Chris Jones is expected to be active, and that the team is “hopeful” on star pass-rusher Frank Clark. Obviously Mahomes is the biggest name, but those would be two huge get-backs for their defense for this suddenly pivotal game. The Chiefs have lost three of their last four and now sit at just 5-3.

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Lock, Harris, Raiders

Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is questionable for Kansas City’s upcoming game against the Vikings, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Mahomes, of course, was injured on Thursday Night Football of Week 7 against the Broncos during a quarterback sneak. In a freak incident, Mahomes dislocated his right kneecap.

He returned to practice just six days after the injury, but was quickly ruled out for last Sunday’s game against the Packers. While his status is still up in the air, Rapoport reiterates “At the least, he is considered to have a shot to play.” At 5-3, Kansas City has some breathing room in the AFC West divisional race. However, the chances of a high seed and a first-round bye would be greatly diminished the longer they have to stick with backup Matt Moore.

Here’s more from around the AFC West:

  • While quarterback Brandon Allen is currently next in line for the Broncos after Joe Flacco‘s injury landed him on injured reserve, the team plans to play rookie second-round pick Drew Lock in Denver’s final two games against the Lions and Raiders, according Mike Klis of 9News. Flacco was diagnosed with a disk injury in his neck that requires at least six weeks to recover. Given the Broncos 2-6 record, the team decided to shut down the veteran for the season. Allen is in his fourth NFL season, but has yet to appear in a regular season game.
  • After weeks of trade rumors, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris could be staying in the mile-high city beyond this season, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. With three young daughters and a fourth coming soon, Harris told Jhabvala he was “Definitely relieved and happy to be able to finish the year here.” The news comes as somewhat of a surprise given Harris’ tumultuous relationship with the organization over the past few seasons. However, according to Jhabvala, the team’s new coaching staff has meshed well with the upcoming free-agent.
  • Both Raiders centers Rodney Hudson and Andre James are listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Lions. They both are dealing with ankle injuries and managed to practice, but according to head coach Jon Gruden, both were “sore.”