JASON BROWN: Mahomes contract set to shake up league
It is hard to believe it has been three years since the Kansas City Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. That disbelief is mostly due to what he and the team have accomplished in those three years – a Super Bowl victory and MVP as well as a regular-season MVP award for his first season as the starting quarterback.
Now entering his fourth season, Mahomes is on the precipice of becoming the highest-paid player ever in the league as his representation and the Chiefs continue working through the summer to make a monumental deal happen.
There has been a ton of speculation about how this contract will look and how it will affect the Chiefs’ ability to field a competitive team around their superstar quarterback.
Currently, Russell Wilson is the highest-paid quarterback in terms of annual salary at $35 million. Nearly every projection of what Mahomes’ annual salary will come at eclipses that number by a fair margin. There is not much debate that Mahomes should be the highest annual earner in the league as well as the player most deserving of a record amount of guaranteed money – which is a more wide-open discussion.
Matt Ryan’s contract signed in 2018 guaranteed the former MVP nearly $95 million, $20 million more than what Aaron Rodgers commanded the same year. There’s a near-zero chance Mahomes does not get a historical amount of guaranteed cash when inking his deal this summer.
All three of the aforementioned quarterbacks have felt a number of obstacles that come with a top-end contract. Wilson has become somewhat of a one-man-band in Seattle, Rodgers has suffered from a lack of weapons at times and support from his defense and Ryan in Atlanta has dealt with similar issues. The Chiefs have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce under contract beyond next season and adding a cost-effective backfield option like Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the draft this season gives the team much-needed security. The Chiefs will face many challenges throughout the duration of this contract but their actions beforehand are a strong indicator that they will be able to shoulder the load and build on the Super Bowl win.
There are not many indicators of what the actual numbers of Mahomes’ contract will be but we know it will shatter records set by previously signed contracts. Both parties have indicated they are committed to coming to an agreement before the season starts and even though it will be the biggest contract the franchise has ever offered a player, it will be a no brainer.
Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org