Opinion: Does Patrick Mahomes Deserve A $200 Million Contract?
It is no question that Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the best player in all of football. In two full seasons as a starter (and three in the NFL), Mahomes has already won an MVP, a Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP. He has a record of 24-7 in 31 starts, has thrown for over 9,400 yards and 76 touchdowns to just 18 interceptions. This has brought up the question among NFL media members and fans as to whether or not Mahomes deserves to be the first player in NFL history to have a contract worth over $200 million. At first glance, it is hard to say no, but let’s dive into what that would truly mean, and whether or not the Chiefs should make the investment.
The first thing one must take into account when talking about Mahomes is his age. Mahomes is currently 24-years old, and is under contract through the 2021 season. This means that a $200 million contract extension would not go into effect until Mahomes’ age-26 season. Assuming that the contract is five years in length, and for $200 million exactly, that means the Chiefs would be paying Mahomes $40 million a year until he completes his age 31 season (and they probably would be paying him more, but for simplicity sake). This means that Mahomes, saying that he is still playing around the level he is currently, will most likely ask for an even bigger contract in 2027-2028.
Another thing both the Chiefs and Mahomes need to take into account is the franchise tag. If Mahomes signs the exclusive franchise tag with the Chiefs following the 2021 season, that means he will make no less than the average salary per season of the top-five highest paid quarterbacks at that time for one season (if Mahomes were to have signed the exclusive franchise tag this year, he would have made $33.8 million in 2020 for one season). Assuming that average will increase by the end of 2021, that means Mahomes can make somewhere between $37 and $40 million for one season. That number will subsequently increase each year the franchise tag is applied to Mahomes. Since the franchise tag can only be applied to a player for three seasons, Mahomes could ‘sign’ a series of one-year contracts for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 seasons where he makes an average of over $45 million a year. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes and his representation goes down this route.
The three things that are arguably working in Mahomes’ favor are: 1. That the dollar amount per year for the highest paid quarterback in the NFL will most likely continue to increase and since he is far and away the best quarterback in the league, he can take that number to heights/ 2. The NFL’s TV revenue is going to continue to increase, and that is partially because of him, which means that there will be more money available for him to sign for. 3. Without Mahomes, the Chiefs would not be anywhere near as good as a team as they would be with him, which gives Mahomes added leverage when it comes to negotiations.
Mahomes signing an extension with the Chiefs is going to be a massive shaking of the quarterback market in the NFL. Do I think the Chiefs should offer Mahomes a $200+ contract, yes, but will he take it is the question. One thing Mahomes would have to consider is that if the Chiefs give him so much of their annual salary cap allotment, that means they won’t be able to sign some of the offensive weapons around him like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, among others. There is definitely an inherent risk on both sides, but there is always risk when you are talking about money. Either way it should make for a fun next few years to see when and for how much Mahomes will sign because let’s be real, he isn’t leaving Kansas City.