What will Patrick Mahomes record-breaking contract look like?

Patrick Mahomes contract
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By now it’s a foregone conclusion that reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will come to terms on a record-breaking contract ahead of the start of the 2020 NFL season.

Based on what we know, it will be unlike any contract we’ve seen in the history of the league. Needless to say, it will shatter records clear across the board.

Below, I give my best estimation regarding said contract and what it might look like.

Patrick Mahomes’ stats tell us a story

  • After sitting behind Alex Smith for pretty much all of his rookie season back in 2017, Mahomes took off as a sophomore after Smith was traded to the Redskins.
  • Mahomes’ second season saw the Texas Tech product put up 5,097 yards with 50 touchdowns and just seven interceptions en route to earning NFL MVP honors. Statistically speaking, it was the greatest sophomore season for a quarterback in league history.
  • Despite dealing with a knee injury this past season, Mahomes didn’t disappoint. He threw for 4,031 yards with 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. All said, the youngster has also tallied 16 total touchdowns and two interceptions in five career playoff starts.
  • It’s insane what we’ve seen from Mahomes in his first two seasons as a starter. The most eye-opening stat here is that he already ranks fifth in Chiefs history with 76 touchdowns in only 31 career starts.

NFL quarterback contracts

  • Russell Wilson (four-years, $140 million): Signed back in April of 2019, Wilson’s deal called for $107 million in total guarantees and $70 million guaranteed at signing. The Super Bowl champ is earning an average of $35 million annually.
  • Ben Roethlisberger (two-years, $68 million): Signed the same month as Wilson’s contract, Roethlisberger’s likely final multi-year deal called for $31 million guaranteed at signing and an average of $34 million annually. His contract won’t be used in negotiations between Mahomes and the Chiefs.
  • Aaron Rodgers (four-year, $134 million): More than likely one of the barometers Mahomes’ agent, Leigh Steinberg, will use in negotiating with the Chiefs, the details of Rodgers’ deal are interesting. He’s earning less annually than Wilson ($33.5 million), but got $79.2 million guaranteed at signing.
  • Jared Goff (four-years, $134 million): Likely soon to be considered one of the worst quarterback contracts in NFL history, Goff got $110 million in total guarantees (a league record). He’s also earning $33.5 million annually and took home a whopping $57-plus million at signing. This is not great news for the Chiefs in talks with Mahomes.

The quarterback market

  • It’s important to note that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is still waiting on his new deal. The Pro Bowler is holding out for a four-year extension from Dallas. He’s set to earn $31.4 million this coming season under the franchise tag.
  • This is no small thing in that players at the game’s most-important position have been demanding four-year deals so that they can hit the open market earlier in their careers.
  • Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are all prime examples of this.
  • Given that the quarterback market has reset itself more than a half dozen times since the start of 2018, any new deal for Prescott or Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson would up the ante for Mahomes and his Chiefs.

Figuring out Patrick Mahomes’ contract value

  • Let’s say Mahomes goes for a four-year deal. Taking into account inflation and the quarterback market resetting itself, that has to come in at at least $160 million in total value.
  • From that point on, it’s going to be all about total guarantees and what Mahomes is set to receive in guaranteed cash at signing. The numbers are going to be eye-opening.
  • On a four-year deal, expect Mahomes’ total guarantees to be 80-plus percent of his total value. Think $130 million and move on.
  • As we have seen with contracts in the modern NFL, it’s about more than total guarantees. It’s about what a player will earn without a doubt once signing said deal.
  • In this case, Mahomes will far surpass the $94.5 million Matt Ryan is earning. Look for Mahomes to change the entire dynamic of quarterback contracts in the NFL and get all $130 million in practical guarantees fully guaranteed to him at signing.

Contract break down: Four-year, $160 million with $130 million guaranteed at signing for an average annual salary of $40 million. Yeah, the dude is going to get paid.