GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs stands during the national anthem against the Philadelphia Eagles after Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
The market for quarterbacks continues to rise as star players sign new deals, and Patrick Mahomes is aware of that ongoing shift.
But as he told reporters Wednesday, he tries to balance the need to give the Kansas City Chiefs enough cap space to put great players around him while also wanting to continue to push the quarterback market in a positive direction for his fellow signal-callers.
“I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” he said. “We keep communication, we see what’s going on around the league. But at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it’s kinda teetering around that line.”
“I’ve made enough money where I’ll be set for the rest of my life,” he added.
The two-time champion and two-time MVP isn’t exactly hurting for cash after signing a 10-year, $450 million extension in 2020.
That deal—which has the longest duration and most overall money in the NFL—will eventually start to look outdated as players around the league sign lucrative new contracts.
Mahomes’ contract has an average annual value of $45 million, which currently ranks seventh in the NFL. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson signed a new deal this offseason with a league-high $52 million AAV.
Mahomes’ $141.5 million in practical guaranteed money ranks eighth, with Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed, $230 million deal easily leading the league in that regard.
Mahomes is still earning a ton of money through 2031. But he’s also the best quarterback in the NFL, and he’ll eventually want his contract to again reflect as much. That’s how a shifting market works, and the Chiefs are more than aware of that fact.
General manager Brett Veach told reporters ahead of April’s NFL draft that the team would reevaluate Mahomes’ deal after players like Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert sign long-term extensions:
“We have a special relationship with [Mahomes] and his agent. We’re in constant communication. “It’s one of those things—and I think coach [Andy Reid] hinted on this in his last press conference—where as soon as one guy gets done, it’s kind of the blueprint and the model. And a few years later, it’s jumped and exceeded.
“But I think that this organization and the relationship we have with Pat will always be working to make sure that we’re doing right by everybody. There will be a couple more contracts that still have to get done—Burrow and Herbert—and once they do, I think you kind of look at everything and assess where you are and what you can do and take it from there.”
A raise for Mahomes is coming eventually. But it sounds as though he’s more than happy to patiently wait for the right moment as he looks to continue adding championship rings to his fingers in the meantime.