Patrick Mahomes $200 million contract isn’t a matter of if but when

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Adam Schefter is re-reporting his own reports, although not really intentionally.

Schefter said today on ESPN that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes eventually will sign a contract worth $200 million. The observation, based on a five-year extension with an average value of $40 million per year, has created a bit of a stir.

But Schefter said the same thing in January. It’s fairly obvious, especially with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson now at $35 million per year in new money and Mahomes soon to be eligible for a new contract.

The real question regarding a $200-million-or-more Mahomes deal isn’t if but when. He becomes eligible for a new deal at the end of the season. As in at the end of the regular season. As in Mahomes can, if he so chooses, approach the Chiefs after Week 17 and before the playoffs and say, “Pay me.”

More accurately, Mahomes’ agents can be letting the team know now that they want the financial security that Mahomes has earned before the 2019 postseason begins, shifting the injury risk from player to team for the extra games Mahomes will be playing. Although no player would ever hold out of a playoff game (given the peanuts players make in the postseason relative to their usual pay, maybe one should consider it), it makes every bit of sense for Mahomes to ask for a new deal the first day he’s eligible for one.

When Chiefs owner Clark Hunt addressed the inevitable Mahomes contract at the league meetings in March, Hunt hinted at the possibility of doing it later not sooner, in order to take full advantage of the low cap charges that apply in the early years of a great quarterback’s career.

“It’s something we’ve begun to discuss, but really that’s a decision we’ll make down the road,” Hunt told PFT Live¬†regarding the possibility of signing Mahomes to a new deal after his third regular season ends. “He had a tremendous year this year. We’re obviously eager to see him progress in Year Two as a starter. We’ll have a couple of chances here over the next couple years to extend him. And we’ll just have to figure out when the right time is to do that for the organization. Obviously, it has big salary cap impact. A lot has been made of the opportunuties you have with quarterbacks on rookie contracts. So we want to take full advantage of that. At the same time we’re hopeful to have Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City for a very long time.”

Mahomes is due to make $2.7 million in 2020, and the fifth-year option for 2021 (i.e., the quarterback transition tag for 2020) should be in the range of $24 million. Thus, a five-year, $200 million contract paid to Mahomes after 2019 would essentially be a seven-year, $226.7 million contract.

That’s a total value of $32.38 million per year at signing. Given Mahomes’ skills, that seems a little low.

The reality is this: The longer the Chiefs wait, the higher and higher it will go. Until that deal is done, however, Mahomes will carry the risk of an injury that may keep him from ever getting the payday he already has earned. That’s precisely why he and his agents need to get the Chiefs comfortable with the idea that the record-setting deal needs to be signed as soon as possible, and ideally on the Monday after the 2019 regular season ends.

20 responses to “Patrick Mahomes $200 million contract isn’t a matter of if but when

  1. main hope i have is they have to spend so much money on offense that their defense remains suspect. might be a long 10+ years for the rest of us

  2. I think Mahomes gets 45 million per year, if not more. Possibly a set % of the salary cap, so the annual amount keeps going up. His contract will be record setting and could change the way contracts are written in the NFL. Mahomes is worth every penny.

  3. Ridiculous !….at some point…this environment of bloated and grossly overpriced athletic contracts is going to sink the Titanic….everything is getting so expensive and peoples expendable income is not following suit…something has to give !

  4. Better win it all this year cause after that kinda albatross contract they aren’t winning anything for a long time.

  5. The Chiefs with Mahomes are 0-2 against the Patriots. The Chiefs with Alex Smith managed to win 2 games against the Patriots. I wouldn’t pay Mahomes until he demonstrates he can beat Belichick.

  6. I’d be curious if the league might try to address some of these increasingly large contracts for a single player in the CBA. With every contract exceeding the last one could we see 50 million a year? How can they sustain that? Seems like they’d have to pump the brakes at some point or surround their stud QB with XFL rejects…

  7. He deserves the money just like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and a couple others. It’s the bums like Derek Carr, Cousins, Stafford who’ve won nothing getting 25 million +. Whatever happened to proving yourself?

  8. Mahomes could be the one to break the trend of leap-frogging QB’s for highest paid player. After he signs his contract TB12, Brees and Rodgers would be the only QB’s that could possibly ask for a higher salary.

  9. Quarterback salaries are getting so high that I think more and more teams will choose to draft a new quarterback before the starter gets to the point that he needs a new contract. Spend your money on the rest of the team and keep using cheaper quarterbacks on their rookie deals.

    Now, I would say that Mahomes is one of the few that would be worth what you have to pay to keep him around, but it’s going to be a lot harder to win a Super Bowl after you pay him. So if they don’t win the Super Bowl this year, why would we think they could do it after Mahomes gets paid? So why pay Mahomes?

  10. I can’t believe more isn’t written about how little the players make for playing playoff games compared to their regular season checks. It’s almost like the pink elephant in the room that gets covered up with a tarp and never mentioned.

    Guys that play an extra 2 games in the playoffs get paid basically a minimum salary check to risk their next season availability. I can see where a percentage of the league might rather not make the playoffs to preserve their careers.

  11. Mahomes and the Chiefs should become the first combo to tie salary to a % of the salary cap. It seems the smart way to reward a great player and have a good understanding for planning by the organization. Which probably means it never happens.

  12. hope they win a superbowl before mahomes takes up enough cap space to pay 5 offensive linemen or a whole defense. understand in nfl economics he is worth it and want the chiefs to keep him but i want the chiefs to win a superbowl and that still means having great players besides the qb

  13. Every time an elite QB signs a huge contract, the commentators yell and scream how they’re going to destroy their teams.

    Of the top 10 highest paid QBs in the league: 7 have winning records, 1 has a .500 record, 2 have losing records.

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