NFL

Why Does Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes Wear Number 15?

Even if you hate the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s hard to dislike Patrick Mahomes. During his three seasons in the NFL, the young quarterback has already established himself as one of the most exciting players on the gridiron. When you see Mahomes’ number 15 jersey under center, there’s no telling what will happen on any given play.

While plenty of Chiefs fans are rocking that number on their back, not everyone knows why Patrick Mahomes picked the number 15. As it turns out, there’s a simple piece of logic behind his choice.

Patrick Mahomes is already one of football’s brightest stars

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Over the years, the Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t seem to draft a starting quarterback. While some fans may be haunted by the memory of Todd Blackledge and the 1983 draft, Patrick Mahomes has already changed the club’s fortunes.

Mahomes, of course, played his college football at Texas Tech, where he posted two eye-popping offensive campaigns. Despite his counting numbers, though, some NFL scouts were unsure if the quarterback could run a professional offense; Andy Reid and the Chiefs brass, however, had no such doubts.

When the 2017 NFL draft rolled around, the Kansas City traded up to select Mahomes with the tenth overall pick. After spending a year behind Alex Smith, the quarterback was deemed ready for action. Once under center, he didn’t disappoint.

During Mahomes’ first season as a starter, he exceeded even the most optimistic Chiefs fan’s expectations, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns, en route to the Offensive Rookie of the Year title and NFL MVP honors. While 2019 wasn’t as good from a purely statistical perspective, the quarterback managed to produce an impressive encore; he, of course, led the Chiefs to three consecutive playoff victories and a Super Bowl title.

Why does Patrick Mahomes wear number 15?

Even if Patrick Mahomes never played another NFL snap, his number 15 would go down in Kansas City Chiefs history. The quarterback, however, started his football career sporting a different number on his jersey.

During his time at WhiteHouse and Texas Tech, Mahomes always wore number five. After turning pro, however, there was a problem. Cairo Santos, who was the Chiefs kicker at the time, already claimed the number. The quarterback then settled on 15 and has kept the jersey ever since.

While he could have changed numbers after Santos left KC, Mahomes chose to stick with 15. Beyond the logistical considerations—he would have had to buy out all of the obsolete Mahomes merchandise, costing as much as $100,000—the number carries some added significance for the young quarterback.

“I actually like 15 a lot,” Mahomes told Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. “It’s kinda like, I got drafted 10th and I [wore] number five. And there’s not really any other quarterbacks that have 15.”

There will be 10 more years of Number 15 in Kansas City

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Based on Patrick Mahomes’ impressive young career, most Kansas City Chiefs fans probably own a number 15 jersey. If they haven’t purchased one yet, there will be plenty more opportunities in the future.

On Monday afternoon, Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs and Mahomes managed to agree to a massive, 10-year contract extension. While the financials are still coming to light, it seems like the quarterback will be taking home more than $400 over the course of the deal. Although that seems like an incredible salary by historical standards, it’s tough to argue that Mahomes doesn’t deserve the deal.

During his first two seasons on the job, Mahomes has already shown his worth to the Chiefs. For years, the club struggled to make it over the hump; there’s no reason to believe they won’t be contenders for years to come. While you could raise some legitimate issues about the long term risks 10-year deal, Kansas City won’t have any quarterback issues for the next decade. In a league where offense, and quarterbacks, are the key to success, that’s worth its weight in gold.

Whether you’re a Kansas City Chiefs fan or can’t stand the sight of Patrick Mahomes, one thing seems certain. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we’ll all be seeing plenty of number 15 jerseys for years to come.