Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was league MVP in his first season as a starter, which means he’s the biggest bargain in the NFL right now — and means he’s sure to demand an enormous new contract, likely as soon as next offseason. The Chiefs are ready.
In fact, Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach told Kevin Clark of TheRinger.com that the Chiefs have been planning for Mahomes’ second contract since before last season. Veach said that when the Chiefs signed wide receiver Sammy Watkins in free agency in March of 2018, they were already thinking about structuring that contract so that it wouldn’t hamstring them if they give Mahomes a huge new deal.
“We were already doing the deal assuming Pat would be an elite-level quarterback. We were already doing our contracts to fit a potentially big contract,” Veach said. “When he was a rookie, as a backup, we were already doing our structures to fit. That’s how much we believed in Patrick.”
Mahomes counts just $4.5 million against the cap this year, then $5.2 million in 2020 and the Chiefs have a fifth-year option for 2021. So it might seem like Kansas City could easily wait to give Mahomes a raise.
But the reality is, if Mahomes were to play as well in 2019 as he did in 2018, and then tell the Chiefs in 2020 that he’s not showing up until he gets the biggest contract in NFL history, the Chiefs would have little choice but to meet his demands. And so they’re planning now as if they’re going to give him a big pay raise next year.
“We will not,” Veach said. “be caught with our pants down.”
The Chiefs don’t sound like they’re planning to play hardball with Mahomes next year. They know they have the best young player in the NFL, and they want to do what it takes to make sure he spends his prime in Kansas City.