Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale knows the difference a great quarterback can make for a team and how much tougher they can make life for opposing defenses. While some might see Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes record-setting contract as ridiculous, Martindale doesn’t think it’s enough.
Speaking to reporters on Friday before the team’s huge “Monday Night Football” clash against the Chiefs, Martindale admitted that the Chiefs probably aren’t even paying Mahomes what he is worth.
Ravens’ DC Don Martindale reacts to Patrick Mahomes contract
When the Chiefs signed Mahomes to a $500 million contract extension, everyone was blown away by the staggering figures. The reigning Super Bowl MVP instantly became the highest-paid player in NFL history with a contract length and figure that is unprecedented.
Even more surprisingly, Mahomes left money on the table. He easily could have asked for more than $140 million guaranteed or pushed for more than $500 million total over the life of the contract. Even if he asked the Chiefs to double it, Martindale still doesn’t think it would be enough.
“They could’ve paid him a billion,” Martindale said Friday, via ESPN. “I’d still think he’s underpaid.”
Martindale has been around football for decades, with his coaching career including stops at Notre Dame (1994-’95) and Cincinnati (1996-’98) before he ultimately became a linebackers coach in the NFL in 2004. He has watched more football than practically anyone on this planet will in their lifetime, so the 57-year-old certainly knows what he’s talking about.
Of course, Baltimore’s defense has some experience with Mahomes. They faced the NFL MVP in 2018, allowing 377 passing yards and two touchdowns with one interception. This past season, Mahomes torched the Ravens once more with three touchdowns and 374 passing yards.
Martindale has more talent on his defense this season, which is a big reason why a great defense in 2019 looks even better this season. Even with a great pass rush and an outstanding secondary, it still might not be enough for the Ravens to hold Mahomes under 300 passing yards and three scores.
Lamar Jackson is still at least a year away from landing his own contract extension, but the unanimous NFL MVP winner may take notice of Martindale’s comments when it comes time to negotiate with the organization.