NFL

How the Kansas City Chiefs Paid the Best Team in the AFC

The Kansas City Chiefs built a contender quickly after moving on from quarterback Alex Smith. With so much attention on their star quarterback, some may not recognize the other players who impacted the Chiefs’ journey to Super Bowl LIV

With Kansas City preparing to play on the biggest stage in sports, it’s time to look at how the Chiefs paid the best team in the AFC. 

Chris Jones: $1.5 million

Chris Jones missed four games early this season. And it comes as no surprise that the Chiefs saw two of its four losses during this stretch. Jones broke out as a star this season. While his contract is a bargain, he’ll be in line for a hefty payday if he can keep up his play.

Austin Reiter: $2.768 million

Stepping up as the team’s starting center, Austin Reiter provides the Chiefs with the pass protection and defensive presence Kansas City needs following the departure of Mitch Morse. Reiter will see a lucrative pay-raise if he can continue playing at this level. 

Patrick Mahomes: $5.226 million

One of the biggest bargains in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes’ youth benefits the Chiefs greatly. Still on his rookie deal, KC will have to open its pocketbook to keep him around. In the meantime, the Chiefs are getting superstar contributions for a fraction of the $25 million other teams are paying their quarterbacks.

The Chiefs were able to build around Mahomes with a deep roster. Once his inevitable extension comes through, the team may need to rethink its relationship with some of their other players. 

Mitchell Schwartz: $10.82 million

This much money is a hefty sum for a defensive tackle, but Mitchell Schwartz has earned it. Lost in the team’s great offense all season was the fact that the team had the seventh-ranked defense in the NFL all season. Schwartz was a major part of this trend. 

Travis Kelce: $11.218 million

Travis Kelce may be the most valuable member of the Chiefs’ offense not named Mahomes. His ability to read the defense and keep them on their toes makes him an essential component, and he is paid handsomely for this. 

Eric Fisher: $14.981 million

Helping bolster the defense alongside Schwartz, Eric Fisher will likely make life a living hell for the 49ers players who will try to escape and help Jimmy Garoppolo, a talented but flawed quarterback, find targets. Fisher’s pay follows a trend of the Chiefs’ willingness to spend on their defense

Tyrann Mathieu: $16.333 million

Another anchor of the Chiefs’ defense, Tyrann Mathieu provides insurance for the defensive line. His innate ability to both track the ball and the players being targeted makes him among the most valuable safeties in the league.

Tyreek Hill: $17.6 million

Lost in his off-the-field controversy and injuries, Tyreek Hill remains one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. It’s no mistake that he makes nearly $18 million. Mahomes needs receivers like Hill if he wants to succeed.

Frank Clark: $22.7 million

The most expensive player on the Chiefs’ roster, Frank Clark has an incredible ability to dictate his defense and torture other teams’ quarterbacks. Clark not only helps his fellow defensemen, but his value on defense helps make life easier for Mahomes and company.

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