Patrick Mahomes was the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick last year, and like most first-round draft picks he had local businesses offering him endorsement deals. But he doesn’t want to be a star in commercials before he’s a star on the field.
Mahomes’ agent, Leigh Steinberg, told ESPN that the goal for Mahomes’ first year in Kansas City was just to establish himself as a part of the team, and not to get every endorsement dollar. As a result, Mahomes turned down offers that would have given him a higher profile, not wanting to create a perception that he saw himself as a star before he had proven himself.
“We talked about how the first year the goal was to integrate into the team, and the only way to do that is to pay deference to the incumbent veterans and try not to go into the situation with a high profile,” Steinberg said. “We intentionally didn’t do endorsements that would run in the Kansas City area even though they were offered. We didn’t want him to be on billboards and everything when he wasn’t even playing.”
As Alex Smith‘s backup last year, Mahomes says, earning respect in the locker room was a higher priority than earning money from sponsors.
“That just comes with the relationship you build with the guys off the field and on the field,” Mahomes said. “Whenever you have respect for each other and you know that you’re trying to make the team the best you can, and you know he’s trying to make the team win, you can talk to each other and say things to each other and you respect that. That comes with all of this offseason work, the weight room, the running. If you’re giving it your all every single day, people will respect you and respect whenever you say anything on the field.”
If Mahomes becomes the kind of player the Chiefs think he will, those endorsements will come.