The NFL offseason has been an adventure, from big paydays for quarterbacks, wide receivers and edge rushers. Many players have cashed in since the new season year began in mid-March.
The Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson the largest fully-guaranteed contract for a player in NFL history (five-years, $230 million) following his trade from the Houston Texans. This despite his ongoing legal battle which will very likely to cost him a second consecutive season of suspension.
Then you have Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who finagled his way into a five-year, $230.5 million deal with $160 million guaranteed. Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers received a three-year, $150.8 million extension.
And, with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson set to cash. in any day now, one has to wonder what Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is thinking with him being recognized by many as the game’s best at the position now but trailing some inferior QBs in annual dinero.
When Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million extension it was the largest in American sports history. But with those aforementioned monster salaries, Mahomes’ deal looks like a bargain.
But, if you ask Mahomes, he’s OK with that.
Mahomes Interviews With Peter King
During an interview with Football Morning In America writer Peter King, Mahomes talked about valuing legacy over money.
“If you’re ticked off making all the money that I’m making, you’re probably a little messed up. I know I’m going to be taken care of the rest of my life. Being in this organization and being on the platform that the NFL has given me, I’ve been able to make money off the field as well.”
“If you watch some of the quarterbacks, man, it’s not always about getting the most money. It’s about going out there and winning and having a legacy that you can kind of live with forever. For me, that’s what I want.
“Obviously, I want to make money and be able to buy everything I want and all that different type of stuff, but that’s not the reason I started playing football. The reason I started play it football was to win Super Bowls, to enjoy these relationships that I’m building on the field with all my friends who are my teammates. I think at the end of the day if I do that I’ll be a happy guy in the end.”
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 16, 2022
Mahomes is making a killing off the field being part of the Kansas City Royals ownership group as a minority stakeholder. He also joined the Kansas City major league soccer ownership group. “Mr. Ketchup On Errthang” is a native Texan who loves the fast food chain Whataburger, which is based out of Texas. And since they didn’t have any in Kansas or Missouri, he joined an investment group that plans to bring around 30 restaurants to those two states.
Patrick Mahomes' 2020:
• won a Super Bowl
• made Whataburger expand
to Kansas City
• got a 10-year,
• is now part owner of
the Kansas City Royals pic.twitter.com/sJ1lMu1rl9
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 28, 2020
Mahomes also has Adidas apparel, and Head and Shoulders shampoo, State Farm insurance, Oakley sunglasses and Hunt’s ketchup as endorsement deals. So you can see why the contract value isn’t as important to him. He has endorsements.
Mahomes Taking Tom Brady Route: Less Pay Means Better Teams?
It’s well known that Tom Brady has long taken less on deals to keep his teams intact or to add key free agents. Over his career, it’s estimated that Brady took somewhere between $60 and $100 million less over his 20-year run in New England. One that led to six Super Bowl wins, nine Super Bowl appearances and 13 AFC Championship Game appearances. The 249-75 record over that time frame was aided by “TB12’s” willingness to take go against the grain and take less money to keep championship teams together longer. He added a seventh one by beating Mahomes and the Chiefs in his first year in Tampa.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 15, 2022
From the looks and sounds of things, Mahomes is thinking long-term, having already been to two Super Bowls, winning one, plus four straight AFC Championship Games. Mahomes likes winning and wants to keep doing it. That’s not plausible if the quarterback is taking too much of the salary cap, which often hinders franchise’s from filling out the team around him. The hidden blessing with Mahomes deal is the GM can decide how much of the cap it occupies every season, further allowing flexibility to steadily improve the roster.