Patrick Mahomes has a strong case as the best NFL quarterback, especially after the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win. At just 24 years old, he’s likely got his prime still ahead. That seems to be what the Chiefs thought as they gave Mahomes the largest contract ever this offseason. It’s hard to imagine any other QBs commanding such a lucrative deal. The only candidate would be Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.
Let’s look at the details of Mahomes’ staggering new contract, Prescott’s struggle to finalize a new deal in Dallas, and his chances of getting an even better deal than Mahomes next year.
Patrick Mahomes’ record-breaking contract
There was never any doubt that Mahomes and the Chiefs would reach an agreement on a new contract. Kansas City is fully committed to making Mahomes the centerpiece of their roster — and hopefully their dynasty — for years to come. Yet few commentators expected to see the two sides agree on such a mammoth deal.
The raw numbers are enough to make your head spin: $503 million over the next 10 years. That half-billion dollar deal officially gave Mahomes the largest contract in history for any major sports league. Of course, it’s important to note that only $140 million of that contract is guaranteed.
The contract also contains numerous clauses to protect Kansas City in the event of a serious injury to Mahomes. Furthermore, the contract total reflects all of the possible bonuses and performance-based incentives. Unless Mahomes wins the MVP every year and leads his team to the Super Bowl each time, he’ll net significantly less than $503 million.
Dak Prescott’s recent contract struggles
Mahomes’ contract was the biggest football news of the summer. Not far behind, however, was Prescott’s failure to sign a similar deal with the Cowboys. As with Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Cowboys are desperate to retain the super talented Prescott. He threw for a career-best 4,902 yards with a 65.1% completion rate in 2019, according to Pro Football Reference.
Yet while the Cowboys and Prescott went deep into talks this summer, they failed to agree on a new deal by the July deadline. According to sources, the Cowboys offered Prescott a five-year deal with a guarantee of around $110 million. But apparently Prescott and his people didn’t feel like the contract reflected his true potential. Instead of signing an extension, Prescott inked his franchise tag, locking him in for the next year if nothing more.
A chance at an even bigger deal
Waiting it out may prove to be the best move for Prescott for a number of reasons. For one thing, his franchise tag is worth $31.4 million next year. If he signs another for the 2021 season, that one will be worth even more. Meanwhile, if Prescott can improve his play this year — or even win the MVP award — Dallas will have no choice but to significantly increase their offer.
In other words, Prescott seems to be betting on himself in this case. Meanwhile, the Mahomes deal complicates Prescott’s position in what will likely prove a beneficial way. For one thing, Prescott will now be negotiating off of a far richer contract than Mahomes was — or he himself would have been if he’d signed a new deal this summer.
While Prescott has publicly stated his desire to remain with the Cowboys franchise, he would likely prefer a shorter contract than Mahomes’. By holding out, Prescott has increased his leverage, which will make it easier for him to demand a shorter, player-friendly deal. While his net total may not touch Mahomes’ $503 million, there’s a good chance that he’ll end up bringing in more per year on whatever contract he signs.