Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes Suffers High Ankle Sprain

The Chiefs qualified for their fifth consecutive AFC title game yesterday, but the top story leading into next week’s game (regardless of their opponent or its location) will be the health status of their star quarterback. Patrick Mahomes missed time due to an ankle injury midway through Kansas City’s win over Jacksonville, and underwent further testing today.

An MRI has revealed that Mahomes is dealing with a high ankle sprain (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). The latter further reports that the injury is “nothing more than that,” however, meaning that his availability for the conference title game will simply be a matter of pain tolerance. In the immediate aftermath of the game, Mahomes confidently said (via Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, on Twitter) that he would be “good to go” next Sunday. USA Today’s Tyler Dragon tweets, unsurprisingly, that he is indeed expected to play.

The 27-year-old was sidelined briefly after suffering the injury. In his absence, Kansas City turned to veteran Chad Henne under center for 13 snaps; in that time, he completed five of seven passes, including a touchdown. Mahomes was then able to return and finish out the game, one in which he was clearly playing at far less than 100% but still managed to put up efficient production (195 yards and a pair of scores on 22-of-30 passing).

The 2018 MVP is likely to add a second such title to his decorated resume this year, underscoring his importance to the Chiefs as a Super Bowl contender but also how crippling his injury could be, depending on its severity. Mobility has always been a key element of his skillset, so being limited on that front would have a significant effect on his level of play and, in all likelihood, Kansas City’s offensive gameplan.

More will be known as the week progresses with respect to Mahomes’ level of participation in practice. The extent of his recovery will no doubt be a major talking point in the coming days, as it could go a long way in determining the AFC’s representative in next month’s Super Bowl.

QB Notes: Jets, Pickett, Chiefs, Carr

Zach Wilson will start for the Jets in Week 16, Robert Saleh confirmed. This was the expected Jets path, given the updates on Mike White‘s injured ribs. The short-week assignment made White’s road back tougher, and the team’s preferred starter will have a mini-bye to recover ahead of a possible Week 17 return. White attempted to receive clearance from as many as 10 independent doctors last week, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com adds he is still consulting with doctors. But the Jets are proceeding cautiously with the fifth-year passer. Saleh does not believe the injury White suffered against the Bills is a season-ending malady, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. White is due for unrestricted free agency in March.

Here is the latest from the quarterback landscape:

  • After Mitch Trubisky played in most of the past two Steelers games, the team is ready to move its rookie back into action. Mike Tomlin expects Kenny Pickett to start Saturday against the Raiders, Teresa Varley of Steelers.com tweets. Pickett has now sustained two concussions this season.
  • The conditional 2024 pick the Browns obtained from the Panthers for Baker Mayfield will be a fifth-round choice, David Newton of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter). Mayfield needed to hit the 70% snap barrier with the Panthers. The new Rams starter did not come especially close to that, being demoted and then waived.
  • Derek Carr‘s recent Raiders extension — a three-year, $121.4MM pact — gives the team a three-day window following Super Bowl LVII to jettison the quarterback and save $40.5MM. Carr trade rumors are nothing new; he loomed as a trade candidate for much of the Jon Gruden period. But a GM informed the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora he does expect Carr to finally be dealt. Despite the Raiders’ struggles, Carr ranks 10th in QBR. The team’s blockbuster trade for Carr college teammate Davante Adams also might make a trade a tough sell, and the prospect of the Raiders needing to find an upgrade — an impediment to a trade during Gruden’s stay — also makes this a risky path. In his ninth season and having made 141 career starts, Carr is the longest-tenured starting quarterback in Raiders history.
  • Making a push for a second MVP, Patrick Mahomes offered a bit of insight on how he ended up in Kansas City. The sixth-year Chiefs passer said, after a productive meeting with Andy Reid ahead of the 2017 draft, he spoke with multiple teams who indicated they would draft him. During an appearance on Travis and Jason Kelce‘s New Heights podcast (video link), Mahomes said he informed the Chiefs they would need to trade up to at least No. 11 to land him. Mahomes said he did not know the extent of the Saints’ interest at the time — New Orleans held the No. 11 pick — but the Cardinals’ affinity for then-Texas Tech prospect has been known for some time. Arizona picked 13th that year. The Browns also traded their No. 12 pick to the Texans, who chose Deshaun Watson. The Chiefs traded their No. 27 choice, a 2017 third-rounder and their 2018 first to the Bills to secure the No. 10 draft slot. That ended up being a franchise-changing decision.

Patrick Mahomes Played Central Role In Chiefs Signing JuJu Smith-Schuster, MVS

The Chiefs are 2-0 and enter Week 3 second in points per game. The team, which traded Tyreek Hill and lost other wide receivers in free agency, heads to Indianapolis ranked sixth in passing yards and third in offensive DVOA.

Patrick Mahomes is obviously driving this effort, but the former MVP and Super Bowl MVP is still adjusting to a new-look receiving corps. Kansas City’s fifth-year starter did plenty to assemble this group, beginning shortly after the Hill extension talks took a turn that led to the blockbuster swap with Miami.

Chiefs GM Brett Veach informed Mahomes in mid-March of the increasing likelihood Hill would be dealt, Nate Taylor of The Athletic notes, with the perennial Pro Bowl wideout’s request for a significant raise becoming an untenable proposition for the Chiefs (subscription required). The Raiders’ Davante Adams contract changed Hill’s approach, and the Chiefs added their two free agent receiver targets shortly after the Adams extension (JuJu Smith-Schuster) and the Hill trade (Marquez Valdes-Scantling).

Although it looked for a bit like the Chiefs brought in Smith-Schuster to complement Hill, due to the team’s No. 1 wideout still being on the team when the longtime Steeler signed, Taylor adds Mahomes had begun recruiting Smith-Schuster shortly after learning Hill could be gone. Smith-Schuster had been on Kansas City’s radar for two offseasons. The Chiefs pursued him in 2021, but the former Steelers second-round pick opted to stay in Pittsburgh for one more year. A January report indicated Smith-Schuster was interested in circling back to the Chiefs as well. Mahomes helped move this transaction — a one-year, $3.76MM deal — across the finish line, eyeing the Pittsburgh slot as a player who could excel in myriad capacities in Kansas City.

Valdes-Scantling did not have the Chiefs on his radar to start free agency, according to Taylor, but Mahomes called the ex-Packers deep threat shortly after the Hill deal commenced. MVS visited the Chiefs and signed with them a day later. The Packers had made a late push to retain their former fifth-round pick, but Taylor notes they offered a one-year deal. MVS had expected to land a one-year pact, however, and the Chiefs only guaranteed $8.56MM of the wideout’s three-year, $30MM deal at signing.

Combined, the Chiefs’ top four receivers’ salaries — also factoring in Mecole Hardman and Skyy Moore‘s second-round contracts — come in at a fraction of Hill’s league-record $30MM-per-year Dolphins dough. Hill has gotten off to a fast start in Miami and fit better on a Dolphins payroll lacking a franchise-QB salary. Travis Kelce still leads the Chiefs in receiving by a wide margin — something that probably should be expected to be the case at season’s end, barring injury — while Smith-Schuster, MVS and Hardman have combined for 21 receptions through two games. Moore is being brought along slower, having played just 15 offensive snaps in two weeks.

South Notes: Saints, Darnold, Colts

Links between Patrick Mahomes and other teams have emerged in the past. The Cardinals were preparing to draft the eventual Chiefs megastar five years ago. Sean Payton also confirmed the rumored story of his old team’s plans with the then-Texas Tech prospect. During his latest FOX appearance (h/t NFL.com’s Peter Schrager), the former Saints coach said he was prepared to draft Mahomes at No. 11 in 2017. While Payton confirmed he discussed the selection with Drew Brees and informed the future Hall of Famer a Mahomes pick would not impact his starter status, the Saints also viewed Marshon Lattimore as a top-four player in the 2017 class.

Payton said in 2020 the team did not have a clear choice between Lattimore and Mahomes, though then-Kansas City GM John Dorsey made New Orleans’ decision easier with the trade-up for the quarterback. Payton said this week Mahomes was “the best quarterback I’d ever seen on college tape.” The Saints had worked out Mahomes in Lubbock that year. Hindsight would suggest the Saints needed to be ready to climb into the top 10 for such a talent, but Mahomes was not viewed as a surefire top-10 pick that year. GM Mickey Loomis also said Lattimore falling impacted the team’s decision not to trade up for Mahomes. Both Mahomes and Lattimore are now signed to long-term contracts, though the former’s prime should be expected to last longer.

Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • The NFL’s longest-tenured general manager, excluding those with owner-GM or coach-GM roles, Loomis has seen fellow Saints cornerstones Payton and Brees depart in the past two offseasons. But the 21st-year Saints front office boss is not planning to join them in leaving anytime soon, via Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com. When the acclaimed salary cap guru does walk away, Jeff Ireland looms as a logical successor. The former Dolphins GM is well-regarded by Loomis and others in the organization, Duncan adds. Ireland, 52, was the Dolphins’ GM from 2008-13. Currently the Saints’ assistant GM, Ireland has been with the team since 2015. The Bears interviewed Ireland for their GM post this offseason, while the Lions and Panthers met with him in 2021. It will be interesting to see if Ireland sticks around to potentially succeed Loomis or land a GM gig elsewhere before the New Orleans GM exits.
  • After a strained 2021 between Michael Thomas and the Saints, first-year HC Dennis Allen made connecting with the wide receiver one of his first acts upon being promoted. Allen flew to Los Angeles to have dinner with Thomas early this offseason, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com notes. Despite Thomas’ injury-plagued 2020s and the Saints’ frustration with their top wideout regarding his 2021 surgery timetable — a process that led to the All-Pro missing a full season — the team vowed not to trade him early this offseason. Thomas, 29, has returned healthy and caught two touchdown passes in the Saints’ Week 1 comeback win over the Falcons.
  • Potentially the Colts‘ left tackle of the future, Bernhard Raimann backed up Matt Pryor in Week 1. But the Colts used the third-round rookie in a rotation with Pryor. After Raimann played 12 of the five-period game’s 90 left tackle snaps, Frank Reich said (via the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson) he plans to continue rotating his backup in going forward. Left tackle represented the only position at which the Colts deployed a rotation, beginning a path to Raimann seizing this job full-time. The Colts re-signed Pryor on a one-year, $5.55MM deal this offseason, and Erickson offers the 2021 Colts swingman — who has never been a full-time left tackle — could be an option at right guard, should Raimann take over the blindside.
  • Sam Darnold is making progress toward a return. The Panthers backup has shed his walking boot, per The Athletic’s Joe Person (on Twitter). On IR due to a high ankle sprain, Darnold will miss at least the season’s first four weeks.

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Bolts, Broncos

Given a deal that was $10MM north of the previous NFL AAV record two summers ago, Patrick Mahomes has seen his $45MM-per-year pact fall to fourth. This offseason saw Aaron Rodgers surpass $50MM per year and Deshaun Watson‘s fully guaranteed $46MM-per-year pact lead to Kyler Murray signing for $46.1MM on average. Mahomes received the $45MM salary because he agreed to a 10-year extension, and the superstar Chiefs quarterback has said he is unconcerned about where is contract currently stands among QBs. But a source informed Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed the Chiefs could adjust his deal “sooner than later.” Mahomes, 26, has never been expected to play out his through-2031 contract. It will be passed many times between now and its expiration date. Lamar Jackson is almost certainly gunning for a deal north of that $45MM figure. It does not look like the Chiefs will be addressing the contract this year, but in addition to Jackson, Russell Wilson should be expected to pass Mahomes’ pact by 2023. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert will also be extension-eligible in January.

A team agreeing to redo a player’s deal with so many years left on it stands to be an interesting contract chapter — one that may not be too far in the future — but Mahomes is rather important to this franchise’s prospects. Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • From one previous contractual record to a current position’s standard, the ChargersDerwin James re-up looks quite good for the player. James’ $19MM-per-year extension tops safeties in AAV; it also compares favorably to Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jamal Adams‘ deals in terms of its three-year payout ($58.5MM) and fully guaranteed money ($38.6MM), OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald tweets. Given James’ injury history, the Bolts’ $42MM in total guarantees matters as well. His 2023 base salary is fully guaranteed, and $3.4MM of his 2024 base becomes fully guaranteed in March 2023, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. Two 90-man roster bonuses worth $3MM are due in 2025 and ’26, respectively, though those base salaries are nonguaranteed. James will count less than $10MM against the Chargers’ cap in 2022 and 2023, but those numbers go way up by the mid-2020s: $19.9MM (2024), $23.9MM (2025), $24.6MM (2026).
  • Asante Samuel Jr.‘s path back to the Chargers’ starting lineup appears to be narrowing. While Samuel entered camp as the outside cornerback starter opposite J.C. Jackson, Michael Davis has taken over in recent days. Brandon Staley said the competition remains open, but The Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes Davis has played in front of Samuel for several days. A former UDFA the Bolts re-signed on a three-year deal worth $25.2MM in 2021, Davis appears to be distancing himself in this battle, per Popper (subscription required). Davis, 27, has been a Chargers starter for the past three years. Samuel also has slot experience, something that could come into play considering Bryce Callahan‘s injury past. The mid-offseason addition, however, has been manning the slot with the Bolts’ first unit.
  • The Broncos, who have lost starting wideout Tim Patrick for the season and likely linebacker starter Jonas Griffith for several weeks, are starting to see injuries pile up. Netane Muti, who has been battling Quinn Meinerz for the starting right guard gig, is out due to an arthroscopic knee surgery. Muti will miss between three and four weeks, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). This effectively walls off the third-year blocker’s path to a starting role, for the time being. The Broncos have Meinerz and Dalton Risner as their expected guard starters, though Graham Glasgow is still in the mix after returning from a season-ending 2021 setback.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Offense

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.

While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.

Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $38.6MM
  2. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $35.79MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $31.42MM
  4. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $31.15MM
  5. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Packers): $28.53MM
  6. Carson Wentz, QB (Commanders): $28.29MM
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $26.95MM
  8. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $24MM
  9. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $23.02MM
  10. Kenny Golladay, WR (Giants): $21.2MM
  11. Garett Bolles, T (Broncos): $21MM
  12. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $19.73MM
  13. Derek Carr, QB (Raiders): $19.38MM
  14. D.J. Humphries, T (Cardinals): $19.33MM
  15. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $19.2MM
  16. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $18.9MM
  17. Sam Darnold, QB (Panthers): 18.89MM
  18. Baker Mayfield, QB (Browns): $18.89MM
  19. Matt Ryan, QB (Colts): $18.7MM
  20. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $18.55MM
  21. Donovan Smith, T (Buccaneers): $18.4MM
  22. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Cowboys): $18.22MM
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals): $17.95MM
  24. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $17.8MM
  25. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $17.71MM
  • The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
  • Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
  • Prior to negotiating his landmark extension in March, Rodgers was set to count more than $46MM on the Packers’ payroll.
  • The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
  • Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
  • Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
  • Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
  • Prior to being traded to the Colts, who adjusted their new starter’s contract, Ryan was set to carry an NFL-record $48MM cap hit this year. The Falcons are carrying a league-record $40.5MM dead-money charge after dealing their 14-year starter.
  • The Texans restructured Tunsil’s deal in March, dropping his 2022 cap hit from $26.6MM to its present figure. Because of the adjustment, Tunsil’s 2023 cap number resides at $35.2MM

Contract information courtesy of Over The Cap 

Free Agent Stock Watch: Chiefs OT Orlando Brown Jr.

In November, we wrote a Free Agent Stock Watch on Chiefs’ blindside tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Three months later and the situation is starting to clear up a bit. In case you don’t feel like reading the older piece, here’s a quick recap: 

A unanimous All-American at Oklahoma, Brown was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Ravens. Despite being considered a first-round pick for much of his last year in college, a poor performance at the NFL Combine plummeted the young tackle’s stock. Brown quickly made sure that the football world knew he was not going to be defined by his combine performance and became widely considered as one of the biggest steals of the draft.

Brown went to his first Pro Bowl in 2019, after his first full season as the Ravens’ starting right tackle. The next year, an injury to newly extended left tackle Ronnie Stanley pushed Brown to the left side of the offensive line for the last 10 games of the season. Brown made his second Pro Bowl that year after playing most of the year at left tackle.

At that point, Brown made it clear to the Ravens that he intended to be the best left tackle in the NFL. Brown’s determination to play on the left side of the line stemmed from his late father’s wish that he not settle for any other position in the NFL, so Brown requested a trade to an organization that would allow him to live that dream.

The Ravens honored Brown’s request and traded him to the Chiefs. It was initially thought that Kansas City would extend the young stalwart tackle and lock down their future at the position, but the Chiefs held off, allowing Brown to play out the final year of his rookie contract. Brown’s first year as a Chief ended with him becoming the only offensive tackle in the NFL to be in all of the last three Pro Bowls.

At this point, it’s not expected that Kansas City would let their blindside blocker walk away after only one year. Brown is a talented and, perhaps more importantly, young left tackle who not only dominated in the Ravens’ run-game-centered offense, where they passed the ball 44.96% of the time, but also dominated in the Chiefs’ pass-heavy offense, where they passed the ball 62.36% of the time.

Spotrac.com estimates a calculated market value for Brown at a five-year deal worth $116.58MM. That would give Brown the NFL’s highest average annual salary for an offensive tackle at $23.32MM per year, over the likes of Trent Williams ($23.01MM), David Bakhtiari ($23MM), Laremy Tunsil ($22MM), and former teammate Ronnie Stanley ($19.75MM).

In an article by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach was quoted saying, “As far as Orlando, he was a guy that had a dream to play left tackle and had a small sample size of him playing left tackle at Baltimore. He’s another unique character, too, where when you talk about a culture and when you talk about a guy that does everything the right way, Orlando Brown is in the category.”

A conversation will likely need to be had with quarterback and former MVP Patrick Mahomes as his cap hit is expected to jump from $7.43MM in 2021 to $35.79MM in 2022. If the Chiefs are not able to figure out a long-term deal with Brown, they are likely to use their franchise tag to give both parties an extra year to come to an agreement. In the unlikely event that neither of those options play out, Brown will certainly become one of the top offseason priorities for any team interested in a franchise left tackle.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Provides Injury Update

After undergoing offseason toe surgery, Patrick Mahomes is confident he’ll be completely healthy by the start of the regular season…if not sooner.

“The toe’s feeling great,” Mahomes said during an appearance on NFL Network (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “I’m out here playing golf, being able to walk around the course. I’ve been running, cutting, jumping, throwing, doing it all. So I’m just excited to get back to training camp and have another chance to make a run at it and win the Super Bowl this year.”

Mahomes dealt with the toe injury throughout Kansas City’s run to the Super Bowl. He had surgery soon after the season ended, and his recent appearance at Chiefs minicamp indicated that he was on the right track. However, as Patra notes, the quarterback acknowledged last month that he’s still got some rehab in front of him, meaning he’s not completely healthy yet.

The 25-year-old had another standout season in 2020, completing 66.3-percent of his passes for 4,740 yards, 38 touchdowns, and six interceptions, and he added another four touchdowns in the postseason. With a revamped offensive line in front of him, Mahomes will have a better chance of avoiding injury during next year’s postseason run.

“I think the beautiful thing about the NFL is every single year, you start from scratch,” Mahomes said. “You have to come in, you have to put in the work to try to get to the big game and try to win it. And so for us, win or lose that Super Bowl the last two years, we still have that same mentality of we’re going to start from scratch and build and try to find a way to get back to that game.”

This Date In Transactions History: Patrick Mahomes Signs Massive Extension

On this date last year, Patrick Mahomes became a very, very, very rich man. On July 6, 2020, the former MVP signed a historic 10-year extension with the Chiefs.

The massive deal was worth $477MM, with potential bonuses bumping the contract to a max value of $503MM. The deal marked the first time that an NFL player held the title of “highest-paid player in American sports history.” Mahomes’ $477MM in “guarantee mechanisms” exceeded the 12-year, $426.5MM deal that Mike Trout signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, and the $50.3MM average annual value topped Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard‘s $49MM AAV (part of a four-year, $196MM deal that will begin in 2021).

Worldwide, Mahomes’ contract value only trailed Lionel Messi’s head-spinning four-year deal worth around $674MM. With Messi’s contract recently expiring, the Chiefs QB could soon hold the title for largest contract in all of sports.

From an NFL standpoint, both the $477MM value and $140MM in guaranteed money shattered NFL records. Mahomes’ ~$50MM-per-year price tag was a staggering $10MM increase on Russell Wilson‘s $35MM-AAV deal that previously resided as the NFL salary benchmark. As far as guarantees go, Mahomes’ bests the previous leader — Jared Goff‘s 2019 re-up — by $30MM.

It wasn’t a huge surprise that Mahomes was able to garner such a deal, and it wasn’t a huge surprise that the Chiefs were willing to make such a commitment to the franchise quarterback. After all, few players have managed to accomplish all Mahomes had through their first two seasons as a starter. Fortunately, Mahomes continued to back up the organization’s faith in 2020. The 25-year-old had another standout campaign, completing a career-high 66.3-percent of his passes for 38 touchdowns vs. only six interceptions. Mahomes also guided the Chiefs to their second-straight Super Bowl appearance, where they ultimately lost to the Buccaneers.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve already seen Mahomes work with the Chiefs to save the organization some cash. We learned earlier this offseason that the quarterback had restructured his contract, providing the team with an extra $17MM in cap space by moving much of Mahomes’ $21.7MM roster bonus into a prorated signing bonus. Language in Mahomes’ deal allows the Chiefs to automatically restructure it to create cap space, and since the quarterback is inked through the 2031 season, this surely won’t be the last time we see both sides agree to a reworked deal.

The 10-year deal that was signed one year ago today was practically unprecedented. Considering Mahomes’ standing as the best young QB in the NFL, it will probably be a while before we see another franchise commit half-a-billion dollars to a player.

Patrick Mahomes To Participate In OTAs

A month ago, Patrick Mahomes proclaimed himself ahead of schedule in his recovery from a turf toe injury. The superstar quarterback will soon prove that. Mahomes is expected to participate in OTAs next week, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets.

Mahomes, who underwent surgery on his left foot shortly after Super Bowl LV, is not expected to take his usual number of reps in team drills, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher. But the fifth-year passer will participate. He was initially not expected to be ready to return to work until the Chiefs’ mid-June minicamp.

Regardless of his participation level next week and in Kansas City’s minicamp, Palmer adds Mahomes is on track to be full-go by training camp. This is certainly positive news for the Chiefs, who made big moves to assemble a new offensive line for its franchise centerpiece this offseason.

The 25-year-old QB suffered the toe injury against the Browns in the divisional round. That became an afterthought after the concussion Mahomes encountered later in that game, but it has resulted in a few months of rehab. The Chiefs have Chad Henne under contract to return as Mahomes’ backup, with UDFAs Anthony Gordon (Washington State) and Shane Buechele (SMU) on the AFC champions’ 90-man roster as well.