JASON BROWN: Mahomes contact sets course for next decade

Jason Brown

About a month ago, things were starting to look bleak when it came to the National Football League and Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason. The hype of the draft and new players coming to the Chiefs had largely passed and it was beginning to look like the road to the regular season would be even longer than usual.

Then everything changed as quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed the largest, most iconic contract in NFL history – a 10 season extension worth $503 million. Now a half-billion-dollar man, Mahomes is poised to play his entire career in a Chiefs’ uniform. He got a record-breaking deal that will pay him mostly guaranteed money with mechanisms to ensure those guarantees are locked in years before they are paid out. On the surface, it looks like a contract that will benefit the team in the early years before Mahomes starts collecting salaries of more than $50 million and up to $60 million per year but there is a good chance that won’t necessarily be the case. It is nearly impossible to predict where the league’s salary cap will be in five years – especially given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic – but the Chiefs and general manager Brett Veach clearly believe the cap will go up to the point that those cap hits aren’t so jarring.

The lower cap hits in the early years of the deal show the organization’s approach to repeating as Super Bowl champions. It has already paid off as it was announced Tuesday that the organization had reached an agreement with the initially franchise tagged defensive lineman Chris Jones.

Above nearly all else, the Chiefs will have one of the most prominent names and faces in the league representing their organization for the next decade. Mahomes has already shown he will speak up and use his platform for good in the Kansas City community and the rest of the world. His appearances in the players’ video message to league commissioner Roger Goodell on racism followed by joining Lebron James’ voter registration initiative show he is committed to making a difference off the field as much as he does on it. He is the leader the Chiefs could never find on the offensive side of the football and he is only getting better at everything he does.

Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at jbrown@leavenworthtimes.com