The Kansas City Chiefs wasted no time locking up QB Patrick Mahomes as the two sides agreed to a 10-year contract extension worth up to $503 million. The inking of this extension will keep Mahomes in Kansas City until 2031, making him the only player in the NFL currently locked up past 2026 (Ezekiel Elliot locked up through 2026 w/ Dallas). The extension is just four months after Mahomes led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl win since 1970. The 24-year-old phenom, drafted with the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has not wasted any time taking the league by storm. In just two seasons as the Chiefs full-time starter, Mahomes has racked up quite the hardware for his personal trophy case.
In his first full season as the starter, Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 12-4 regular season record, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns. Mahomes became only the second QB in NFL History to complete this feat (P. Manning in 2013 the other) and capped the season off with NFL MVP honors. Had the coin flip in the AFC Championship game gone Mahomes and the Chiefs way against the Tom Brady led New England Patriots Mahomes arguably would have appeared in his first Super Bowl in the 2018 season. In his second season, however Mahomes did not leave it up to chance. After another stellar regular season performance, Mahomes led the Chiefs to the promise land and beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Mahomes also won Super Bowl MVP honors. He became the only QB in NFL History to lock up a NFL MVP award and a Super Bowl MVP award before the age of 25. He is also the youngest Super Bowl MVP in history as only him and future first ballot HoF Tom Brady are the only players to win the award before turning 25.
So were the Chiefs crazy for giving Mahomes this big of an extension or was it well deserved?
Mahomes is a generational talent and his ceiling is skyhigh. The Chiefs are definitely taking a tremendous gamble with such a long contract extension, but locking up the best QB in the league through the 2031 season will make them huge contenders for the next decade plus. From what we have seen from Mahomes up to this point in his career, he deserves every penny of this record-setting deal. Barring any major injuries, which is the biggest what if when locking up an athlete for this amount of time the Chiefs, may have just made the deal of the century.
However, the Chiefs have to hope history does not repeat itself when it comes to other notable QBs in the past getting extensive extensions. Three examples include Donovan McNabb (Eagles) who signed a 12-year extension in 2002, Carson Palmer (Bengals) a 9-year extension in 2005, and Michael Vick (Falcons) a 10-year extension in 2004. None of these three QBs finished out their deals with their respective teams who gave them the extensions. So will Mahomes protected tenure in Kansas City be different? I do believe it will be and the Chiefs will be reaping major benefits from taking the longterm risk.
The Chiefs also have to hope this deal does not financially bury them. When giving one player this much money it will inevitably make it difficult for the Chiefs to fork over future money to other stars to keep them in town. The Chiefs have to hope the winning culture they have established in Mahomes short tenure will be a major selling point. The NFL salary cap does not work quite like the MLB and Mahomes deal looks much more like a MLB player’s superdeal than a NFL player’s deal.
But what does this mean for the rest of the teams in the NFL and owners with young star QBs on their rosters? Will this become a common occurrence now or will other young QBs continue signing the more common 3-5 year extensions?
The Mahomes deal may make other young QBs think about the potential of landing a similar deal and have the assurance of knowing they will be being paid for a long time to come. But I do not see this happening. I do not think there are any other current QBs in the league right now that would be worth the type of risk the Chiefs have now taken concerning Mahomes. The price tag will put other teams in a bind, but the length of this extension I do not see being matched for some time to come. Players will have another selling point when negotiating upcoming contract details, but owners still ultimately have the last say and I do not see any owners/teams taking this big of risk anytime soon.
Mahomes is not only in a league of his own when it comes to play on the field, but I truly believe Mahomes will also be in a league of his own financially for awhile to come. Hats off to Kansas City as of now and congratulations to Patrick Mahomes.