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  • Devan Flint

Will Mahomes' contract hold the Chiefs back?

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Patrick Mahomes is widely regarded as the best quarterback in the NFL as well as the face and future of the league at only 24. In April the Chiefs exercised Mahomes 5th-year option keeping him under contract through the 2021 season, the 5th year contract will see him make $24.8 million. Both the Chiefs and Mahomes have expressed an un-waivered intention to get the deal done, hence, it is more of a matter of when it gets done than if it gets done. Mahomes has shown faith and trust in the organisation and front office throughout the whole process since being drafted in the 2017. While signing Mahomes to a record-breaking long term extension is a no brainer the figures being thrown out by the media and reporters would not just be record-breaking, they would shatter the mould and expectation we have for quarterbacks salary, and some have indicated it may be the first step towards a separated cap for quarterbacks.

Realistically no one needs to make a case for why Mahomes deserves to be made the highest paid quarterback in NFL history, all you need is a pair of eyes. In his first two years as a starting quarterback he has an incredible list of accolades:

- Super Bowl Champion

- Super Bowl MVP

- NFL MVP

- 1st Team All-Pro

- 2x Pro Bowler

Additionally, including his first game as a starter in Week 17 of the 2017 season Mahomes is 28-8 for his career, 24-7 in the regular season and 4-1 in the play-offs. Not only has Mahomes won games but in 31 regular season games he’s thrown for 76 touchdowns to 18 interceptions, averaging 303.6 yards per game completing 65.9% of his passes. Whilst it would seem impossible Mahomes elevated his play in the play-offs with 13 touchdowns to 2 interceptions, averaging 294.8 yards per game along with some clutch performances against the New England Patriots, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. Further, it’s not just the eye test he passes, by every metric he is elite. In 2018 he was tied 1st in QBR and 2nd in Quarterback Rating, in 2019 he regressed a little but was struggling with a few injuries, yet still finished 2nd in QBR and 7th in Quarterback Rating.

Therefore, given everything listed above there is no doubt in my mind that the Chiefs and Mahomes will come to deal. However, while I would hand Mahomes a blank check and in no way condemn the Chiefs for paying him the out of this world money I expect them to, I do worry what that means for the Chiefs roster moving forwards. The most common figures I have seen thrown around by the media and reports is around 5-years $200 million plus almost fully guaranteed with some arguing the annual figure could be closer to $50 million than $40 million. As I have said already, I would offer Mahomes that contract in a heartbeat to secure him as my quarterback for the future but its undeniable that under that deal the Chiefs roster would face considerable casualties.

Below are Chiefs significant players currently under contract:

Contract through 2020

DT Chris Jones

WR Sammy Watkins

CB Charvarius Ward

Contract through 2021

TE Travis Kelce

S Tyrann Mathieu

RT Mitchell Schwartz

LT Eric Fisher

DT Derrick Nnadi

Contract through 2022

WR Tyreek Hill

WR Mecole Hardman

S Juan Thornhill

OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

ILB Anthony Hitchens

Contract through 2023

EDGE Frank Clark

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

When you exam the players already under contract by the Chiefs they have a wide open Super Bowl window for the next two seasons. While Chris Jones is in my opinion the 2nd best interior defensive lineman in the NFL and a huge threat in both the run and pass-rush I believe it’s in the best interest of the Chiefs to trade him away for future draft picks, not only do I think they would get considerable draft compensation for Jones but it would allow them to bring in young players on cheap contracts to fill the holes in their roster. In 2019, Charvarius Ward had a under the radar break out season in my opinion and potentially losing him to free agency at the end of 2020 would leave the chiefs with potentially the worst cornerback unit in the NFL. Assuming both Kelce and Schwartz who will be 32 and 33 respectively at the end of 2021 are still productive the Chiefs will be hoping that their age pushes their price down allowing them to bring back both stars, further, given Tyrann Mathieu’s effect on this Chiefs defense and philosophy I would imagine at age 30 he will look to get a big pay day in 2021 also. Then in 2022 assuming Thornhill and Hardman follow their current trajectory they will look to get good money from the Chiefs along with superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill who will likely look to secure another long-term deal at age 29.

Hence, whilst it’s not clear who will be the casualties coming off Mahomes’ big deal its almost guaranteed there will be some. Maybe it won’t be their stars maybe it will be their depth or role players. Yet at the very least the Kansas City Chiefs have a Super Bowl window for the next 2 years likely 3 along with the best quarterback in the NFL who is yet to reach his prime. While a dynasty might be off the cards with Mahomes’ big contract it’s safe to say regardless of his deal the future is bright in Kansas City.


Image from : https://www.139aw.ang.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001954658/


Image by : U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Michael Crane


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