While most people know Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as one of best in the game, fewer know about his background in baseball. Mahomes’ father was a professional baseball player and at one time, Mahomes was a top baseball prospect.
However, Mahomes chose to play football and his decision paid off. He is now one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Why did Mahomes make that choice? And does he regret it?
Patrick Mahomes’ baseball background
Mahomes grew up around the game of baseball. His father, Pat Mahomes, played Major League Baseball for a decade as a pitcher. Growing up, Patrick spent a lot of time in baseball clubhouses and around other professional players. He also played basketball growing up. Patrick didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school, choosing to be a quarterback. However, he didn’t give up baseball and continued to play both sports throughout his last two years of high school.
Baseball scouts were interested in Mahomes, but by that point his first love was football. He wanted to play both sports in college, although, for Mahomes, baseball was a backup plan. If it didn’t work out for him as a quarterback, he could go back to playing baseball.
Lucky for him, football worked out. After getting the starting quarterback job at Texas Tech in the middle of his freshman year, Mahomes threw for over 5,000 yards his sophomore year. After that, he quit playing baseball and focused solely on football. He was drafted 10th overall by the Chiefs, and two years later, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Why did Patrick Mahomes choose football?
Clearly, Mahomes had an interest in playing football. Once he started playing quarterback his junior year in high school, he never gave it up. Mahomes’ father explained why he wanted to play football over baseball:
“He just fell in love with football. I knew that,” Pat Mahomes said. “Thousands of people in the stands, being the man who could dictate and change the game. He’s a student of whatever game he’s playing. He had played baseball for so long he knew every situation. He thought it was way through it.
“There was so much for him to learn in football and that’s what he loved.”
For Mahomes, being a quarterback was his dream. Thankfully for Mahomes and the Chiefs, he is really good at it.
Does Patrick Mahomes regret his decision to play football?
Despite Mahomes’s rapid success playing football, there’s one reason he might regret not playing baseball. The top players in baseball make nearly $40 million a year. NFL players don’t make that much. Quarterbacks are the highest paid players in the league, and only in the last few years have they started making over $30 million a year. In addition, baseball contracts are fully guaranteed. Football contracts are not. If Mahomes suffers a catastrophic injury or his level of play drops, he may not see the full value of the contract.
However, Mahomes probably won’t suffer any financial consequences. After next year, he can renegotiate his rookie contract. Quarterback contracts are on the rise over the last few years. Mahomes is expected to get at least $40 million a year in his new contract. Furthermore, he has been picking up endorsements, including a lucrative one with Head and Shoulders.
Football players have a much easier time getting endorsements than baseball players. If Mahomes keeps up his stellar play, he will have no trouble getting new endorsements. Combined with rising quarterback salaries, it appears that Mahomes will make more money playing football than he might have playing baseball.
Some might say he made the best possible decision. He gets to play the sport he loves. He also should be able to make more money as a football player than a baseball player. Mahomes may have enjoyed playing baseball, but he has to be happy with his decision to choose football.