Patrick Mahomes gets 10-year deal with Kansas City Chiefs
By Ken Belson
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, one of the NFL’s biggest stars, has signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a person familiar with the terms of the deal who was not authorized to speak for the team.
The big payday, worth up to half a billion dollars, for Mahomes, who at 24 has already been voted as the league’s most valuable player and won a Super Bowl, is likely to set a new benchmark for the league’s young quarterbacks who are also playing on rookie contracts.
The extension of his current deal, which had two years left on it, will keep him in Kansas City through 2031, when he will be 35 on opening day that season.
After the deal had been reported, Mahomes posted a one-minute video on his Twitter feed with the title, “Here to stay…!” The video includes clips of acrobatic throws and touchdown scores, and ends with the words, “We’re chasing a dynasty.”
The contract extension, which was first reported by ESPN, is the largest in NFL history and one of the biggest in U.S. sports. Leigh Steinberg, Mahomes’ agent, said the extension was worth $503 million. Steinberg said $477 million of that money was in “guarantee mechanisms” and that Mahomes could opt out if those mechanisms were not triggered. Mahomes also will have a no-trade clause.
A spokesman for the Chiefs declined to comment. Mahomes and the Chiefs began negotiations in May.
Ten-year contract extensions are unusual in the NFL, where the injury rates are high and teams operate under a strict salary cap that limits how much they can spend on their rosters.
Most star quarterbacks have received three- and four-year contracts in recent years. Russell Wilson, for instance, signed a four-year, $140 million extension with the Seattle Seahawks last year, which at the time made him the league’s highest-paid player, with the biggest signing bonus — reportedly $65 million — in history.
The last time an NFL player signed a 10-year contract was in 2004, when quarterback Michael Vick, then 24 and with the Atlanta Falcons, agreed to a deal worth as much as $130 million. That made him the highest-paid player at the time.
But the Chiefs no doubt recognize that Mahomes is a once-in-a-generation player with a combination of athletic ability and star power that is nearly impossible to replicate. Agents for other young, talented quarterbacks, most notably Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, are likely to use Mahomes’ contract to justify seeking similar deals for their clients.
Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans, two other cornerstone quarterbacks, are also still playing on rookie deals.
Mahomes’ rise has been swifter and borne greater results. In 2017, the Chiefs traded up to the No. 10 pick in that year’s draft to select Mahomes, who played college football at Texas Tech.
After serving as a backup to Alex Smith in his rookie season, Mahomes took over the starting quarterback spot in 2018 and instantly became a star. He threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns, helping lead the Chiefs to a division title with a 12-4 record. The Chiefs lost in the AFC championship game that season.
But this past season, Mahomes helped lead the team to a division title and, after two dramatic comeback playoff victories, took the Chiefs to their second Super Bowl title, beating the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in February.
Including signing bonuses, Mahomes has earned $13.7 million in his first three seasons, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks pro sports contracts. He had two years remaining on that deal worth $2.8 million this season and $24.8 million next year.