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Unpacking the Blockbuster Mahomes Extension

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes finally got that big contract extension in a move that’s been telegraphed since the day he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in Kansas City.

The two parties signed a ten year extension that kicks in at the end of Mahomes’ rookie deal, is worth $503 million with $477 million worth of guarantee mechanisms and is not tied to a salary cap percentage. So what does this mean for Mahomes, the Chiefs and the NFL?

For starters, Mahomes just got fitted with the richest contract in the history of organized sports. Even early projections of the net worth of the contract eclipsed that of Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who originally held that title when he got his 12 year, $426.5 million contract. Mahomes also joins the pantheon of quarterbacks who got the big double-digit year contract extension like Brett Farve, Donovan McNabb, and Drew Bledsoe. Mahomes also has an out of this contract if any of the guarantee mechanisms aren’t exercised. So a shoutout to Mahomes’s agent for getting his man contract guarantees worth more than the second-biggest contract in professional sports.

The Chiefs, for their part, get something that’s eluded them for as long as a lot of Chiefs fans can remember: a pretty good quarterback, that they themselves drafted, locked up with a long-term deal. The last time they drafted their own quarterback was when they picked Todd Blackledge, who most people recognize now as more of a sports analyst personality than a NFL quarterback. Now that they finally got their man and have some hardware to go along with it, they don’t have to worry about him leaving for greener pastures or a bigger city any time soon. While it may be too early to call him a for-lifer, the money and time is definitely pointing in that direction. To be in that position when your quarterback is still just 24 years old, you gotta be feeling pretty good about yourself if you’re Brett Veach and Clark Hunt.

This extension can also help the Chiefs in the next couple years with locking up other players long-term. Still worried about keeping Chris Jones in Kansas City? This extension gives the Chiefs a little more flexibility in the here-and-now to strike a deal with Jones if he really doesn’t want to play on the franchise tag. Furthermore, if the Chiefs want to keep Travis Kelce and Tyrann Mathieu around they have some leg room to make new contracts work there, as well. For a franchise that’s been emphasizing keeping the core together, there’s an opportunity here to make everybody happy.

Speaking of locking up your quarterback long-term, this has some serious implications on the QB market going forward. Guys like Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Dak Prescott are all looking for that big payday, and it looks like the Mahomes contract may be the one to beat. The Prescott situation in particular is tricky because it really didn’t have to be this way, but circumstances one way or another (what’s up, long term extension for Zeke Elliott?) led him and the Cowboys to this impasse, where now any false move could send Prescott packing for new suitors. As it stands, the QB market is pretty strange, with a lot of known quantities in the middle of or past their prime; and many question marks surrounding guys like Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Mitch Trubisky, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen who may turn out just fine… but could also just as easily flame out by the time extension season comes. Is there anyone else besides Jackson or Watson or Prescott that you would trust with a big bank extension? It’s a tough question, but now the Chiefs don’t have to ponder those hypotheticals and stick with their known quantity. As for teams like the Cowboys still hesitant to pony up, maybe Andy Dalton has something left in the tank?

At any rate, rejoice Chiefs fans, because your quarterback of the future is now officially your quarterback of the future with five hundred million reasons to stick around for a while.