The Kansas City Chiefs have given franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes the richest contract in sports history. According to Ian Rappoport, they locked up their man for 10 years, paying him up to $503 million with around $477 million in “guarantee mechanisms” with a no-trade clause. The contract also gives Mahomes options if the guaranteed money is not met. Before this deal, the highest-paid player in all of sports was Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who is currently making $430 million over 12 years. The biggest contract in the NFL, before this, was Matt Ryan’s five-year deal worth $150 million, which he signed back in 2019.
This extension will kick in after his rookie deal ends after the 2022 season, and he will become a free agent at the age of 37. Even though Mahomes is worth the money, the timing of the deal is a bit suspect. The league salary cap may go down in the next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since there are no salary cap ties, meaning he would be paid a percentage of the cap, it puts the Chiefs in an interesting position. The cap will most likely go down next season, but it will rebound and grow in the seasons after, so this could prove to be okay for Kansas City down the road. In these uncertain times, it may not have been the smartest for the Chiefs to do this, but only time will tell.
One big effect of this contract is that it resets the market for quarterbacks. The quarterback position has long been the highest-paid position in football, but only a handful of QBs were making over $30 million. Now with Mahomes’ new contract, the elite QBs are going to want just as much. Both Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson are top-level QBs that will be out of a contract in the next offseason, and they may ask for upwards of $40 million because of this deal. The Cowboys had a chance at re-signing Prescott for about $30-35 million, but they opted for the franchise tag, which is around $31 million for a season.
This contract is pretty much a lifetime contract and they now do not need to worry about resigning their superstar QB for a long time. According to Sportrac, most of the players on the Chiefs roster are having their contracts expire in 2022, so they will need to make some sacrifices because they signed Mahomes to a megadeal.