Mr Mahomes is a very rich man. According to nfl.com, the extension is worth up to $503 million over 10 years with $477 million in guarantee mechanisms. This means that Mahomes will be 36 once the contract ends and the richest player in all American sports. This is the first time an NFL player has the richest contract throughout American sports. Kansas City has their QB locked up for many years to come.
This easily exceeds Russell Wilson’s 4-year $140 million contract for highest average salary. This means that the two best QBs in the league are paid exactly like who they are – the best. Both of which have full no trade deals in their contracts. I expect to see a Chiefs vs Seahawks Superbowl more than once over the next few years. Large contracts like this, however, are not necessarily a good move.
With a cap hit of $42.450 million in 2023, a cap hit that falls slightly before rising again, Mahomes will eat up a large percent of the salary cap. Whilst the QB is the most important position, overpaying at the position can be deadly for a teams Superbowl aspirations. Over the past 27 seasons only 3 teams have won the Superbowl with a QB salary at more than 12% cap hit (S.Young 1994, P.Manning 2016 and T.Brady 2019). Teams need to be deep at other positions. Constant injuries require backups to come to the for (including at the QB position). That is why Brady and Brees have continually taking less than market value so the rest of their team can be of a high standard, just look at the defence that Belichick created for the Patriots over the last two seasons, leading to a Superbowl. Mahomes also missed a few games last year due to injury and you don’t want to be paying a player that’s not on the field. However, that injury was an injury aggravated by a QB sneak where his ankle was crushed. Mahomes is also good at sliding when he runs out the pocket. He does sometimes hang on to the ball too long and get pummelled by a D-Lineman. This also leads to the odd bad throw just like one of his interceptions in the Superbowl (he shouldn’t have won MVP, same issue as when Brady won MVP in Superbowl 51). But there is something different with Mahomes.
Paying a QB is a dangerous game but not having a good won is worse … so much worse (just ask the Bears and Jags). Mahomes has propelled the Chiefs to an AFC Championship game and following that up with winning the Superbowl this past year. Mahomes is one of the best QBs in the league and therefore his talents deserve such a contract. Whilst it will mean that Chris Jones won’t get his $20 million per year in Kansas, Mahomes should be able to keep the Chiefs a title contender. Don’t forget that Andy Reid is contracted till 2023 and with a talent like Mahomes, he will want to be coaching for many years to come to add to his Superbowl ring collection (currently only 1). Reid and Mahomes for many years is devastating to the rest of the NFL. It coincides with the rise of John Harbaugh and Lamar Jackson, as well as Deshaun Watson and whoever replaces O’Brien after this year. The AFC looks competitive again and in the short-term, the Chiefs still have flexibility.
The cap hit for the next two years for Mahomes are $24.8 million and $31.4 million (according to sportrac.com). This allows the Chiefs to pay others short-term, before they have to dilute their roster to stay under the cap. Add this to the ever-increasing cap. Whilst the cap may decrease over the next few years due to the current unknowns of the sports world, it will only increase. We’ve seen how the monster Kirk Cousins contract looks average now; just imagine how Mahomes’ contract will look in 10 years – a bargain. Saying that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a negotiation before the 2027 season, not only due to the potential bargain contract but also because of a large rise in cap hit on that year: $59.9 million. This deal is great for the Chiefs, he deserves it and although it seems large as of now, it won’t in years to come. All he needs to do is maintain his current level of play.