Patrick Mahomes’ willingness to take less should help the Chiefs with other players, but is it?

Dallas Cowboys v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

When Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed his long-term contract two years ago, it was obvious that his decade-plus commitment to the team would eventually become obsolete. It’s already happening.

Mahomes, who like anyone else wouldn’t tell the world that he may have made a mistake, defended the decision to commit for so long and, relative to others, so little by saying he’s set for life. Setting aside for now whether that’s the right attitude, the fact that Mahomes views his own situation gives the Chiefs a powerful tool.

Like the Patriots of the Tom Brady era, when the best player on the roster is consciously taking less than he deserves, it makes it easier for the team to squeeze other players on the team to do the same thing. That worked in New England. Is it working in Kansas City?

A couple of recent data points suggest it may not be. Receiver Tyreek Hill wanted more than the team was willing to pay him. He wasn’t willing to do a team-friendly deal simply because Mahomes did. So they traded Hill.

Then there’s tackle Orlando Brown, who pushed for much more than the team was willing to pay on a long-term deal to replace his franchise tag. The Mahomes-isn’t-making-market-value argument, whether expressly or implicitly communicated to Brown’s agent during negotiations, didn’t work.

As to Mahomes, who is signed through 2031, his contract will only become more glaring as the salary cap goes up and up, and lesser players make more and more. At some point, the team will need to fix the imbalance that already exists. That was one of the arguments made in defense of the contract when he signed the deal; at the right time, the Chiefs will fix it.

But will they? Only squeaky wheels get greased. If Mahomes isn’t squeaking, the Chiefs will feel no compulsion to give him a penny more than they are required to pay.

Should Mahomes want more? Ultimately, it’s his decision. And, yes, he’s set for life. But should anyone who reaches their “I’ve got enough until I croak” number start giving away their skills for less than they’re worth? Generational wealth ideally supports as many generations as possible. The owners know that, and they behave accordingly. The players should, too.

Besides, once Mahomes gets a lesson in estate taxes — which will take 40 percent of his money when he dies — he’ll possibly do the math and realize that he’ll be leaving roughly 30 cents on every leftover dollar earned to his kid(s). One of the only ways to counter this is to make as much money as possible, and to never take anything less than what he deserves.

As each new quarterback deal is done, it will become more clear that Mahomes is getting less than he deserves. Until his skills diminish to the point where the team won’t hesitate to reduce his annual compensation to zero dollars and zero cents.

42 responses to “Patrick Mahomes’ willingness to take less should help the Chiefs with other players, but is it?

  1. Kermit is going to be running for his life this year without an LT. That division is stacked with pass rushers!

  2. Ummm doesn’t he have a 10 year $450 million contact averaging $45 million a year. How is that taking less??

  3. Carr said he would take less to get his buddy Adams, straight up. And he did, making less than Adams on the last extensions.

  4. Guaranteed that Mahomes will be wanting to renegotiate his deal before this one is up. Especially if he feels that he’s outplayed it in any way. Equally so, if he feels that enough lesser players are making more money than he is.

  5. Not to worry, anyone who has seen The Patty Posse knows they will be in his ear, loudly and often, to renegotiate.

  6. He’ll also likely realize that he can simply own assets that generate revenue and hand those down to future generations with the explicit instructions on how to handle said assets. I’m not a tax lawyer, but I’m sure he’s smart enough to get the council needed to avoid that disgusting tax law.

  7. If Mahomes takes less that leave more obviously. To take Hill and Brown as examples and use them as to why it doesn’t work is just silly goofball projection.
    If you’re going to have All the players asking for more than top dollar you’re not going to have a Team. You’re going to have 4,5 or 6 players that get paid like Kings while the other players get paid like bums. And end up being also rans in the race to the Super Bowl.
    Only teams that spread the wealth to their players will be in the race to the end. That is the philosophy of the Chiefs and it looks pretty dam good the last 4 years. It worked pretty good for Brady as well.
    Take your theory Florio and play it out. We will see the worst football in decades.

  8. I weep for Mahomes’ children, how will they survive on multi millions versus multi-multi millions.

  9. Note: some people don’t care to make every penny possible, and are content with whatever they have or are set to get. People like the author of this post love to lecture that players should never apologize for working to maximize earnings (and that’s true). How about embracing the same for those who are satisfied with huge riches instead of huge riches+? It’s not as if the Chiefs are not going to spend their cap space – just because it isn’t going to Hill and might not go to Brown (note: the Chiefs made Brown a huge offer, and maybe dealt away Hill in part to be able to afford Brown) doesn’t mean they’re not going to use the LITTLE bit of extra savings Mahomes has provided.

  10. He didn’t take less. He moved the going rate past 40 million per which is obviously ludicrous.

    All of these teams will struggle with the cap until it jump significantly.

  11. How can he took less like Brady Mahomes was paid the most at the time of his signing while Brady never was the highest paid player even quarterback, plus Pat will never do what Brady did period

  12. Look that’s what happens when you sign a contract. Whatever top dollar is at signing is bound to be surpassed by the next near-worthy QB who needs signing.

    Mahomes could of chose to Cousins it instead, so he shouldn’t squeak at all. But I bet the brother squeaks…. on Twitter AND Tiktok. Takers?

  13. It’s amazing this is the only site that continues to push the narrative that guys who sign long-term contracts are “under paid” a few years later.

    If Mahomes/Rodgers/Burrow or whoever, want to always be the highest paid then they can negotiate and sign one-year deals every year.

    That’s why they sign long-term deals, they negotiate some security while giving up market fluctuating pay.

    They can’t have it both ways. You either want some long-term security or you constantly want to be paid market value. Pick a side.

  14. It almost always takes money to make money and every investment does not work out but, having a high % that does will support him and his family for a very long time. He didn’t build a 50 million dollar home, he knows where his limit to surrounding happiness and substantially resides and knows that it is much better than most, which is the key to success.
    He’s not blowing millions thinking it will last forever like some idiots do.
    Because he has family history in the field of big dollar sports contracts, he knows the limits.
    Go Chiefs!

  15. Suggested headline tweak: “Mahomes’ team-friendly contract — will it help other Chiefs?

  16. Willingness to take less? Vegas gave him millions for throwing the AFC championship game and it was obvious. KC had more money on them for future bets than any team. Of course Vegas rewarded him for saving them. As big of a fraud as Tom Brady

  17. Again can someone explain to me why members of the media always like to spend someone else’s money. They all push for bigger and bigger contracts for the players and don’t realize it’s a salary-cap sport. I really don’t understand it every single time – zeke deserves more, Dak deserves more, Aaron deserves more , abd it goes on and on

  18. KC is the only winning team where the whole is not as great as the sum of its parts. That can’t continue.

  19. Brady’s contract never helped squeeze guys to take less in NE. If someone was the type of player that wanted their money they wanted it. Thus Asante Samuel leaving and still badmouthing NE. Or Gilmore or Revis leaving. But in general, aside from his occasional splurging on Revis or Gilmore, or drafting Samuel, Belichick only acquired players that were team first, or let them walk once FA came. It limited his options some, but it fit his team. The Chiefs haven’t done that, they’ve pursued high talent guys for years that arent the most team first players and made it work, like Hill or Mathieu. Mahomes contract isn’t even low, he has a 60m cap hit in 2027.

  20. One, Mahomes didn’t exactly take a discount. Two, the next 10 years isn’t exactly written in stone. Everybody thought the chiefs would have 2 or 3 SBs by now. They don’t. In response to mahomes’ generosity, the chiefs have responded by letting his world class WR go and arguing over dollars with his left tackle. A lot of good “taking a discount” has done him.

  21. thurmanmerman says:
    July 23, 2022 at 9:17 pm
    “Vegas gave him millions for throwing the AFC championship game and it was obvious.”

    Sure. The guy has a half-billion dollar contract, but he’s going to risk that, and voluntarily lose a chance for another Super Bowl, for a few million. Less tin foil on that hat please.

  22. “Generational wealth ideally supports as many generations as possible. The owners know that, and they behave accordingly.”

    This right here is VERY important. Whatever Mahomes does is up to him however the billionaires that own these teams didn’t get to where they are feeling like they have enough.

  23. There has to be a trust factor between the GM, head coach, and QB in order for elite QB’s to sign long term deals to give the team wiggle room to keep the players around them strong.

    Brady played ball for years until Belichick’s horrible drafting and unwillingness to sign big name free agents caught up with them. Brady said see ya and now has a Super Bowl in Tampa.

    Mahomes, Allen, Stafford, and Carr seem to have that relationship with their teams. Now it’s up to the GM and head coach to hold up their end of the bargain. If I’m Lamar, trade for a big name WR and then we’ll talk a team friendly contract extension.

  24. Brady’s strategy didn’t work because it allowed the Patriots to hand out the biggest contracts in NFL history to other positions, it worked because it allowed them to sign those upper mid-level or veteran types. Having 2-4 skilled guys making $2-$5m is HUGE for assembling a SB roster. THAT’s what Brady’s contracts allowed them to do

  25. Mahomes was the highest paid QB player when he signed his contract. How is that taking less? Brady never became the highest paid QB. Let that sink in.

  26. Unlike other sports football has a hard salary cap which means the owner does not pay one dime more if one player makes more money.
    Instead that means other players make less.

    The player of funds the cap which is limited and then that is difficult among the players.
    If one player takes more there’s less for the others.
    You can define fairness however you like but if one player takes too much the team’s weaker and they are less likely to win the super bowl.

    If players are not interested in winning the super bowl then you should trade them, assuming the team goal is to win the super bowl.

    If the owner’s goal is just to sell seats then do whatever you want

  27. The estate tax is an attempt to prevent a de facto aristocracy. The super-wealthy try to pawn it off as oppressive, but they’re just gaslighting us. In reality it saves the vast bulk of Americans from being ruled by the few who were fortunate enough to be born into the right family.

  28. All of these contracts are way too much. The owners are in a bad place when they have to pay it. Hopefully it stops at some point 50 mill. is too much

  29. No player should have to take less than their market value in order to win in today’s game. The onus is on the players to sacrifice in order win when they have a narrow window to maximize their earnings. Perhaps the commissioner should take less of his $69m salary so the teams could use it to add space on their caps

  30. pacman says:
    July 23, 2022 at 8:28 pm
    Ummm doesn’t he have a 10 year $450 million contact averaging $45 million a year. How is that taking less??

    Because he is taking less than market value. Mahomes is much better than Watson and Murray. He is also better than Lamar, Josh Allen, and whatever other QBs sign higher contracts on the next couple of years.

  31. I find it hard to feel bad for any NFL player that makes more in a year than I, or anyone I know, will make in a lifetime.

  32. redlikethepig says:
    July 24, 2022 at 7:55 am
    The estate tax is an attempt to prevent a de facto aristocracy. The super-wealthy try to pawn it off as oppressive, but they’re just gaslighting us. In reality it saves the vast bulk of Americans from being ruled by the few who were fortunate enough to be born into the right family


    Haha…..we are already ruled that way

  33. The math is pretty straightforward. The salary cap {$208M for 2022) divided by the 53 man roster is the average salary per team and compare that to how much a quarterback or star player take up the percentage of the cap and get a perspective of the value of such player. A single QB can eat up 25% or more of a team salary, such as Aaron Rodgers $50M salary. Is it worth it to give a quarter of the money to a single player while 52 other teammates share the rest of the 75%? You be the judge. Unless the player can guarantee a Super Bowl appearance, I say no.

  34. Ask Aaron Rodgers how much he’d pay for just 1 more ring. You can keep making money after football, just look at Brett Favre

  35. The super-wealthy try to pawn it off as oppressive,
    The super-wealthy run all their tax shelters through safe havens and corporate structure. The only tax on their estates are legal fees and “contributions”.

  36. They’re keeping the guys they want to keep. Clark Hunt and Andy Reid weren’t born yesterday. As long as they have Mahomes, they have as good a shot as any team. The players know the goal every year is the super bowl, and they know they have a really good chance. The guys that aren’t all in become distractions. Clark and Andy know the window is open as long as they have Mahomes, so they just need to fill in roster spots with team players.

  37. Down the road,Mahomes will become frustrated with the money situation,even if he is set for life. If he leaves KC, it won’t be on good terms,same as Brady with NE. KC isn’t caving to guys who want more money,no matter their skill set. That’s just a guess.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.