After last nights news of Patrick Mahomes mega-deal, we thought we’d do a little analysing to see how it will affect the Chiefs moving forward!
Over the last few years, I have openly been very critical of players getting huge deals and either their stats disappearing into the abyss or the team destroying itself. The 2009-10 Saints, 2012-13 Ravens and 2018-19 Rams are perfect examples of teams that had a Superbowl appearance, paid some guys huge money and fell to bits in the years following. When I read last night that Patrick Mahomes has been given a $503m deal over the next 10 years my first thought was ‘see you later Chiefs roster’. Whether I think Mahomes is the best Quarterback in the league or not, this sport is very much a team game and you can win games and playoff games with an elite quarterback, but you can’t win the Super Bowl without a good team.
However, there seems to be a lot of ins and outs to this contract that are being ignored here for the large numbers that make the headlines. After a bit of light reading, there are some clever things that the Chiefs have done with this contract, so here is a breakdown.
This contract in every sense of the word is what I like to call ‘incentive or bonus based’. Even though the incentives are easy hitters it would seem.
In total, he is only guaranteed $63 million at this point or $140 million if he gets injured and can no longer play the sport.
Over the next three years, his guaranteed salary is only $800k, $22 million and $29 million meaning the roster can still be extremely healthy around him while allowing him to make only top 10 quarterback money.
Over the next four years of the deal, his base salary never exceeds $5 million, and although the bonus salary is massive ($34-$39m) for things like making the roster, if he is on injured reserve or doesn’t play well and isn’t on the roster it won’t be received. Although unlikely because of dead money and against the cap it would still count it’s easy to see where he could lose money if he doesn’t play to the Mahomes standard we know.
In 2027 he could potentially make almost $60m in that year alone.
The likelihood is that $40m by 2025 won’t be unheard of, so his salary for 2025-2029 being $41-$44m a year isn’t ridiculous although it will still likely be around 15-20% of the team cap space.
If he’s still playing at a top-level in 2030/2031 he probably deserves the potential $50m a year with a base salary of $27m and $38m respectably.
Obviously there is a lot of money to be made here which will depend entirely on Mahomes ability to stay healthy and play well through the entirety of his contract. The $140m in case of injury is basically a life insurance policy.
The biggest worry for the Chiefs has to be when the money starts to get huge (like 2027) can they still afford to build a team around him?
Over 55% of his passing yards were YAC yards by his teammates.
Frank Clark and Tyreek Hill are due a combined $47m in 2022.
Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, Eric Fisher, Tyrann Mathieu, Mitchell Swartz and Sammy Watkins are all due upcoming contract extensions.
Although I think this contract definitely works in Mahomes favour, the Chiefs haven’t been entirely stupid.