The preliminary Patrick Mahomes contract details

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The numbers on any given contract don’t become official under the actual contract can be inspected and analyzed. For now, here’s the breakdown of the Patrick Mahomes contract that is making the rounds.

It’s a twelve-year deal with a base value of $477.631 million. It averages, at signing, $39.8 million per year.

The deal includes a fairly paltry, given the supposed magnitude of the deal, signing bonus of $10 million. The cash breakdown, regardless of guarantees or “guarantee mechanisms” (whatever those are), is as follows:

1. In 2020: $10.825 million.

2. In 2021: $22.8 million (base salary of $990,000, roster bonus of $21.7 million, and workout bonus of $100,000 in 2021).

3. In 2022: $29.45 million (base salary of $1.5 million, roster bonus of $27.4 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2022).

4. In 2023: $40.45 million (base salary of $5.5 million, roster bonus of $34.4 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2023).

5. In 2024: $37.95 million (base salary of $2.5 million, roster bonus of $34.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2024).

6. In 2025: $41.95 million (base salary of $2.5 million, roster bonus of $38.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2025).

7. In 2026: $41.95 million (base salary of $2.5 million, roster bonus of $38.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2026).

8. In 2027: $59.95 million (base salary of $10 million, roster bonus of $49.4 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2027).

9. In 2028: $44.45 million (base salary of $13 million, roster bonus of $30.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2028).

9. In 2029: $44.95 million (base salary of $20.5 million, roster bonus of $23.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2029).

10. In 2030: $50.45 million (base salary of $27 million, roster bonus of $22.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2030).

11. In 2031: $52.45 million (base salary of $38 million, roster bonus of $13.9 million, and workout bonus of $550,000 in 2028).

The deal also includes up to $2.5 million in unspecified incentives per year from 2022 through 2031, resulting in another $25 million that can be earned, pushing the maximum possible value of the twelve-year deal to $502.631 million.

In the first two years, Mahomes will earn $33.361 million. Through the first three years, Mahomes will earn $63.08 million. Through the first four years, Mahomes will earn $103.53 million. By way of comparison, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill will earn $118 million over the next four years — and he won’t be tied to his team for another eight seasons.

Given that Mahomes already was due to earn $27.63 million over the next two years, it’s a 10-year, $450 million extension. That’s $45 million per year in new money. While that pushes the market up by $10 million per year, it ties Mahomes to the Chiefs for the next 12 years, and during that time the market likely will catch and surpass the Mahomes numbers. Although it’s easy to say “the Chiefs will take care of him,” they’re not required to do anything than what the current contract requires them to do for the next 12 years.

With, per multiple reports, only $63 million fully guaranteed at signing, it’s a pay-as-you-go deal for the Chiefs, who surely will want to keep Mahomes for the next 12 years, especially as the market and salary cap grow and the deal looks more and more like a steal for the Chiefs, if Mahomes keeps playing like he has for his first two years as a starter.

It’s a no-lose proposition for the Chiefs, tying Mahomes to the team for a dozen seasons but giving the team flexibility to move on, if for whatever reason Mahomes at some point isn’t the guy he currently is.

Bottom line? In his agents’ apparent zeal to claim that they negotiated the first half-billion-dollar deal in league history, plenty of meat was left on the bone. Mahomes didn’t need to commit for a dozen years, and he could have pushed hard for greater protection against inflation of the salary cap and the quarterback market — like a set percentage of the salary cap.

If they didn’t want to give him a percentage of the cap, he could have played it out; Mahomes has enough endorsement money and (as the 10th pick in the 2017 draft) will have enough football money to get by, if for some reason he loses his fastball in the next couple of years. Instead, he swapped $27.63 million over the next two years plus the chance to play the year-to-year franchise-tag game for $63 million fully guaranteed at signing, and a one-year-at-a-time arrangement, with the team (not Mahomes) making the one-year-at-a-time decision.

As one league source observed, “It’s like he had no leverage.”

Again, the deal definitely sets the bar to a level higher than it’s ever been. But the truth is that, if Mahomes keeps playing like he has so far, he’ll be underpaid sooner than later. And if for some reason he slips over the next few years, he’ll be out on his ear without nearly the kind of protection that he should have gotten in returning for committing to the team for a dozen years.

61 responses to “The preliminary Patrick Mahomes contract details

  1. Wow. Good luck with that contract. That’s not going to work out in the NFL giving one player that much money. Never does. All of his jealous teammates are on the phone with their agents. As they should be. Be prepared for 8-8 seasons.

  2. So basically a three year deal with 9 one year options?

    Window for the chiefs looks open for at least the next 4 years. Chris Jones will be signed in the next week.

  3. Who does this guy think he is? Some kind of baseball player?
    Reserve shortstop maybe…

    Monster contract for football. I’ll be amazed if it gets to the 5 year mark.

  4. Think he is taken care of and won’t need a bump. Bigger issue is when Chiefs have to redo as can’t afford$50 mil a year on one guy, etc.

  5. The Cowboys better not bend and let Dak get more than this. Tell him to go win a ring and then you’ll match the deal. This isn’t a get paid more just because you’re next thing. If you want to earn the best, you gotta be the best, and that means getting a ring.

  6. Great deal for the Chiefs. The ability to pay him under market value for the next four to five years and basically get out of the deal at any point thereafter without penalty is amazing. If the cap goes up as it always has and he’s still elite then they have him at a good price for elite QBs. Do not get why Mahomes signed it but good for him regardless.

  7. Cue the Chiefs fans saying this won’t hurt them cap wise like every other delusional fan after his or her team pays the qb

  8. 63M in guaranteed money? For the best player in the league? If thats real, his agent should be fired

  9. You keep pushing for these contracts to be based on a percentage of the cap, but if revenues do drop this year (100% guarantee they will) and the salary cap drops quite a bit next year because of it (no idea if they’ll let it drop or just lock it at a number for several years to make up for the drop that would happen) then his salary goes down. And at that point everyone, probably including this website, will be calling him and his agent idiots for being the best QB in the league (I say that as a Broncos fan) and having his salary well below market value. Perhaps one day a cap percentage will make sense, but given what the league is currently facing, I don’t think that it makes sense now.

    As for the contract itself, it seems very fair for both the player and the team. I know that the team could walk away at some point, but given his play the least two years it’s hard to think they actually would.

  10. 1) Maybe he likes Kansas City and wants to be there long term genuinely
    2) There is a bit of a balloon payment in 2027 that seems to give the Chiefs the ability to pay up or release him depending on where the team is – at that point, he could sign another huge contract

    Barring injury, it seems likely he will earn this much of more over the 12 years

  11. pbdisciple says:
    July 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm
    Think he is taken care of and won’t need a bump. Bigger issue is when Chiefs have to redo as can’t afford$50 mil a year on one guy, etc.
    ______________

    Seeing how he won’t make more than $50 million until 2027, hopefully that won’t be a problem.

    I like it, give s the Chief’s three years of flexibility to sign some guys to bigger deals, and in three years the cap should have increased enough that the team can absorb Mahomes cap hit and not handicap the rest of the team.

    Sing Jones and get to work on that dynasty.

  12. Most teams would gladly hand that over for a player who single-handedly guarantees that you have a legit chance to win every game he plays in.

  13. Chiefs finished.

    Can we stop acting like he is otherworldy? He was horrible in the SB. The 49ers made two poor coordinating decisions in the SB.

    The Chiefs will be a borderline playoff team in 2021 without
    Jones and a mass exodus coming. Cap to dip severley especially if no season.

    Great player, but this is about salary allocation under a cap.

  14. That’s just crazy!!! What are they planning to pay the other players on the team? It’s a team sport and no one guy can make a team great…not even Mahomes (or any QB for that matter)!

  15. Looks like a solid front end deal, and a series of one year extensions with kick-the-can bonuses to maneuver with.

    Mahomes gets $20.8M, $22.8M, and then $29.5M. That allows the Chiefs to keep a team around him for this window. And those are respectable paychecks, despite whatever Ryan Tannehill is making. As the cap rises, so does his paycheck, as long as things don’t go south.

    Yeah, it’s fluffy. But that’s one helluva marshmallow.

  16. Why is it important for the world to know what professional athletes make? I’d much prefer a world where this information wasn’t so public.

  17. That’s an interesting contract structure. The real info that I’m dying to know is how do they fit this under the salary cap. I know teams find creative ways to make thing’s happen, but as of today they are listed as having $6.2 million, and I think they still have rookie’s to pay.

    If they trade Chris Jones, I could see it working, but I’m also hearing talk (speculation)
    that Jones is getting paid next. I just don’t see ANY way they can move thing’s around and pay them both. Jones/Watkins/Clark, one of those 3 (or someone) I would think would have to be gone, or accept pretty big pay cuts. That’s the story I’d like some answers to. Any Chiefs fans want to enlighten me, perhaps I’m missing something.

  18. I can’t relate ! I get confused when on the odd occasion my checking account has 3 zeros instead of 2 !

  19. With all that money back-loaded to later years the Chiefs are going to be sitting pretty damn well in terms of being able to pay other stars big salaries, thus keeping their talent level high enough to compete for SB’s every year. It’s really a damn good move by the team in that regard.

  20. All the Chiefs need with Mahomes moving forward is a decent O-line, And they can treat the Receivers like Running backs, just keep drafting on the CHEAP every draft and let go of the ones who are looking for big money.

    One thing that is never shorting in drafts are Receivers/ running backs, just keep replenishing the cupboards every draft with rookie contracts along with veterans who are looking to win plus getting shine from the limelight, Just get a nice blend of receivers speedy along with possession guys and the offense will never skip a beat, As long as you are a receiver with a pair of hands you are going to eat with number 15 as your Quarterback.

  21. So it’s a 3 year deal averaging 22.67 mil with a 10m signing bonus..

    Uhh .. Derek Carr signed a better deal 3 years ago and if he has a good year this year, he will likely get a 3 year extension worth 30+ mil a year.

  22. Big pay day for Mahomes but the Chiefs will end up restructuring depending on what happens with the cap. The Chiefs had to do this. Locking up the best QB of the next 10 years was a no brainer.

  23. Through the first four years, Mahomes will earn $103.53 million. By way of comparison, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill will earn $118 million over the next four years — and he won’t be tied to his team for another eight seasons.
    _________

    Mahomes will be “tied“ to the Chiefs for eight seasons and an additional $375 million, or nearly another $100 million every two years.

  24. And if for some reason he slips over the next few years, he’ll be out on his ear without nearly the kind of protection that he should have gotten in returning for committing to the team for a dozen years.
    ———————————————
    If ONLY getting $63,000,000 means he’s “out on his ear”, I know a lot of people that would sign up to be out on their ear.

  25. Or maybe, just maybe, Mahomes really likes winning super bowls. Maybe he took a slightly team friendly deal figuring that way he has a chance to win it all every other year, and finish his career in Canton, a billionaire from endorsements, with seven rings, and the consensus GOAT.

    Maybe Mahomes knows he had all the leverage in the world, but he is smarter than you.

  26. Wow. Dude signs a virtually half billion dollar deal and you criticize it for not being enough.

    You are too blinded by the percentage of salary cap concept you love so much. The problem is, that concept is not sustainable if players at other positions demand it as well. Teams will be unable to negotiate future deals if they are tied to 40 plus cap percentage contracts.

  27. Haha….the pro-player anti-owner sentiment on this website is sad.

    Guy signs for almost half-a-billion dollars and they quote someone saying “It’s like he had no leverage”. Right. Richest contract in NFL history and you make it sound like there might not be food on the table. Asinine.

  28. What the chiefs can and can’t afford will depend on how the salary cap changes from here onwards. As long as they are committing around 15-18 percent to Mahomes, they should be fine. Not having to draft a qb in the first round for the next 12 year would allow them to trade down and obtain multiple lower round picks( cheap labor). This may end up being a bargain for the chiefs if Mahomes can continue to play at the same level until he turns 35.

  29. It’s not a pay-as-you-go deal.

    The “guarantee mechanisms” are basically options that start *2* years in advance, beginning March 2021, ie 2023 salary locks in at start of 2021, 2024 locks in at start of 2022, etc. That’s 2 years locked in after the start of the current year. The “guarantee mechanism” runs the length of the contract.

    It means the Chiefs would have to eat $100M+ in dead cap at most times during this contract if they were to cut him, which would never happen. That’s far from pay-as-you-go.

    Mahomes gave the Chiefs a friendly first 3 years. After that, he gets paid, which coincides with the new CBA (2023).

    If there is an out, it’s after 2026. Mahomes will have earned $225M over 7 years. 2027 is a ~$60M cap hit. Mahomes will be 31 and in the prime of his prime.

    Unlike most NFL contract these days, the possibility this contract runs it’s full extent (all 12 years) is far from zero. No dummy years locked onto the back end.

  30. I would imagine it’s structured like that to minimize the amount of money required to be put in escrow by the Chiefs yet still effectively guaranteeing a large amount of the contract.

  31. That’s a very team friendly deal! I’m glad to see he didn’t try and gouge them, but yet I’m surprised to see it’s so little upfront and so easy for them to get out of it.

  32. Chiefs are pulling for another championship in the next 3 years. If they don’t do it by then buh-bye.

  33. Yikes – talk about betting on yourself. Hopefully he doesn’t end up with an Alex Smith like injury as this contract appears to provide little protection with all those roster bonuses.

  34. Remember that by the time we get to the $50mil/year values the cap will be $250-300mil

  35. Team friendly deal, but if the no trade clause and “pay me or cut me” clause are real, then he either gets paid by then or someone else. Unless he ends up like Alex Smith, this should work out in his favor either way. All those roster bonuses probably have to be guaranteed by the start of the league year.

    I actually think both sides win out in this pretty well, and they won’t be cutting him for anything less than an RG3 like free fall. Not likely.

    I like it.

  36. I”m going to say that the year to year thing is a mutual agreement, not just a team only decision. I really cannot see why any player would agree to that many year to year things. Doesnt give him any protections at all on the surface, surely there are some somewhere?

  37. It would be hilarious if the Saints or Bucs inmediately signed Brady or Brees to a 13 year contract that topped this money, but was really year to year with 70 million dollar roater bonuses at team discretion in 2030.

  38. Great deal for both sides. Mahomes gets paid now. Curious to see what bonuses are fully guaranteed. If none of the bonuses are, then I’d agree Chiefs got a great deal. I do find it hialrious that people think Mahomes should have pushed for a cap %, even if it wasn’t what he was looking for. His job is to get the best deal for him.

  39. I think both sides win with this contract. There’s a good chance the NFL has peaked PLUS we’re in very uncertain times. The last time players kneeled the TV ratings plummeted and now the players are going to kneel more than ever. We’re a very divided country so the people who don’t agree with kneeling will turn away from the NFL, the money train will slow down considerably. Mahomes signed a huge contract that’s really a hedge in case rough times are ahead. QB salaries have been rising to obscene levels, simple economics tells us this can’t go on forever. Every market, even a QB market, has a downturn. The new TV contract is just around the corner, that will be a huge bell-weather of what’s to come for the NFL in the 2020’s.

  40. Why wouldn’t his agent demand a 4 year contract so he could renegotiate during his prime at what will likely be more money for a top qb? The Chiefs seem to hold the cards on him for… well the rest of his career.

  41. I can see the Chiefs rewriting this contract a few times before this is over. They can push the cap forward with signing bonuses until mid way through the contract. If the cap gets to the point where it doesn’t allow them to provide enough skilled players on both sides of the ball, they will trade him for a boatload of picks, eat the cap, and start over using the picks.
    I find it is very much a team friendly deal. That was an unusually low signing bonus.

  42. I think Mahomes needs a better agent. Not sure why he would sign this long of a contract.

    The amount sounds large now, but in 5 years, it won’t. And in 10 years, he may be grossly underpaid.

    Plus, things change. Right now, the Chiefs are SB Champs and a well-run organization. In 5-7 years, Reid may be gone and they may be doormats with no o-line and Mahomes getting crushed. Yet, you’re still under contract for several more years.

    For superstar players, short-term deals make sense, unless you’re getting to the end of your career (not at the start of one, like Mahomes).

  43. Mahomes said numerous times his main goal is winning Super Bowls and he was willing to take a team friendly deal to make that happen. That’s exactly what he did, why is everyone so surprised? He will earn plenty of extra money on endorsements. The more he wins, the greater his legacy will become. That’s what he cares about. He’s a very special player. I’m pretty sure he can survive on $39.8 million a year in salary.

    All this deal does is prove even more that Mahomes is a transcendent player who’s main goal is to win. It’s a beautiful thing. Sorry to the fans who were hoping he would milk every penny he could out of the Chiefs. This is about more than money to him. It’s about being the best ever.

  44. Maybe, just maybe, he’s not greedy Mike and appreciates being set for life by playing a sport. Did you ever consider that angle?

  45. strength531 says:
    Maybe, just maybe, he’s not greedy Mike and appreciates being set for life by playing a sport. Did you ever consider that angle?
    —–
    He is giving the Chiefs a discount no doubt, but the lack of guarantees are concerning. I doubt it would happen, but it looks like the Chiefs can cut him at anytime if he has a down year or two.

  46. Tom G says:
    July 6, 2020 at 8:43 pm
    Wow. Good luck with that contract. That’s not going to work out in the NFL giving one player that much money. Never does. All of his jealous teammates are on the phone with their agents. As they should be. Be prepared for 8-8 seasons.

    8-8 seasons are a thing of the past, with pat Mahomes as the Chiefs QB.,

  47. Mahomes is The Man. He just signed for more than Peyton Manning made in his entire career.

  48. Mahomes seems to really love the city. He’s a low key guy in his private life and KC suits him well. Plus Mahomes doesn’t want every game to be a shootout, he wants a decent defense, oline and playmakers around him.

    Mahomes sense he + Andy Reid could do some incredible things and the kid just wants to win.

    Plus, he knows the more winning = more endorsements and money.

    This contract makes sense when you take in everything.

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