The Kansas City Chiefs stunned the NFL world in July 2020 by signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year contract extension worth a maximum of $503 million. Two years later, as one of the highest paid NFL players, Mahomes notices the skyrocketing salaries.
Mahomes broke norms with his 10-year contract. Typically, young quarterbacks just entering their prime want to sign extensions for no more than five seasons. It allows them to hit free agency again before their age-30 season, an opportunity to cash in as a top NFL free agent with a significantly higher salary cap and a lot more money paid to signal-callers.
Already a Super Bowl champion and NFL MVP, Mahomes took a different approach. Just a few years after being selected 10th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-3 quarterback opted for long-term security provided by a 10-year extension.
- Patrick Mahomes stats (2021): 4,839 passing yards, 37-13 TD-INT, 66.3% completion, 98.5 quarterback rating, 12-5 record
The base $450 million total value of the contract is still an NFL record, nearly $200 million more than the Josh Allen contract (6 years, $258 million) and $220 million more than the recently-signed Kyler Murray contract extension.
However, Mahomes is no longer the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Sitting behind Murray, Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, the face of the Chiefs’ franchise will keep getting passed by. Asked by reports about it at training camp, though, he seems perfectly comfortable with his situation.
While it is notable that Mahomes signed his $500 million contract months into the COVID-19 pandemic, when the NFL faced financial uncertainty, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he stands by his decision. He knew the direction NFL revenue was headed in the years to come, making it easy to project salaries and signing bonuses for his peers skyrocketing.
Being the highest paid player in NFL history simply wasn’t his long-term goal. He knows the Chiefs will likely be more than happy to pay out the entirety of his contract, incentives included. There’s also a chance the team is willing to renegotiate his deal in a few years.
For now, Mahomes is happy with where things stand. If losing a few million dollars each year increases his Super Bowl odds, that’s a trade-off he will accept. While it still didn’t help the Chiefs keep Tyreek Hill, Kansas City still sits near the top of NFL power rankings before the season.