It’s safe to say that the Kansas City Chiefs are happy with their decision to trade up to the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
2019 Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes reached a ground-breaking 10-year, $503 million extension, making him the highest paid player in sports, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 24-year-old superstar will be retained through the 2031 season.
Despite rumors, there is no language in the deal that ties its value to the salary cap percentage. The extension includes $140 million in injury guarantees and a total of $477 million in “guarantee mechanisms” with the ability for Mahomes to get out if the aforementioned mechanisms are not exercised.
After starting just one game as a rookie in2017, Mahomes took the league by storm in his MVP sophomore season in which he threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns, tying legendary quarterback Tom Brady’s 2007 record for the second-most passing touchdowns in a single season. He continued his dominance in the 2019-20 season when he led the 12-4 Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20.
While a shocking deal, no one should doubt that Mahomes deserves every penny. Since he became the starter in 2018, Mahomes has averaged 23.5 fantasy-points-per-game, 304.3 passing yards per game, 8.58 yards-per-attempt, 2.53 passing touchdowns per game and a QBR rating of 78.5, as tweeted by fantasy analyst Matthew Berry. Every single one of those statistics ranks first among all quarterbacks during that span. Reminder, he turns 25 years old in September.
The deal is bound to have a sweeping affect across the league. The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have been working on a contract since last summer to no avail, and since the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback signed his franchise tag the two sides have until July 15th to reach a new deal. Negotiations will be put on hold until 2021 if an agreement is not met, and the soon-to-be 27-year-old quarterback will play the season on a one-year, $31.4 million franchise tag. The Mahomes extension certainly offers some clarity between the two sides since Prescott was likely waiting for the Chiefs star to reset the market, so this could push negotiations forward. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, whose contract expires after the 2021 season, will also benefit from this market-setting deal.
As for the Chiefs, this was the right move. Rather than wait, the Chiefs locked up their franchise player for the next decade. Doing so will prove to be the right move as Mahomes continues to dominate the league as such a young star. The market also gets reset constantly and doing this deal now will not be as heavy-handed a few years from now.
The deal keeps their star player happy and prevents a tenuous relationship from forming, as it seems to be in Dallas with Prescott. Mahomes should also be happy with his haul, becoming the highest paid player in all of sports is no light feat. $140 million guaranteed for injuries seems low for a contract of this length, but the ceiling of $503 million with concrete job security is not something to be taken lightly in today’s NFL. On top of that, the total guaranteed money is substantial and offers Mahomes an out of the contract should they not be exercised, effectively giving the quarterback a way out if the Chiefs try to squirm out of giving him his money.
Mahomes still has two years left on his existing deal before the extension begins.