Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to terms on a historic contract extension Monday evening. The 10-year, $503 million extension is the richest contract in American sports history. It also locks up the Super Bowl MVP in Kansas City for another decade, but that might not be good news for the Chiefs going forward. Mahomes will still be getting paid from this deal when he’s 35 years old. Ten-year contracts don’t have a great history in the NFL, and Mahomes’ deal will be no different.
The Chiefs are chasing a dynasty by giving Mahomes the richest contract in sports history
In a Twitter post from Monday night, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs stated they’re “chasing a dynasty.” After winning the Super Bowl last season, Kansas City believes it can replace the New England Patriots as the NFL’s premier dynasty.
Signing Mahomes to a massive contract extension was the first step. The Patriots were able to keep Tom Brady for 20 seasons, and it led to six Super Bowls. Mahomes is now locked up in Kansas City for 12 more seasons, and the franchise believes he can replicate Brady’s dominance over the past two decades.
In the process of trying to create a dynasty, the Chiefs just made their QB the richest athlete in sports history. Never before has an NFL player topped the list of highest-paid athletes, and for a good reason. There are too many players and too many egos on an NFL roster to keep them all happy at once.
The Mahomes extension sure benefits the Chiefs’ greatest asset, but what about the other 52?
Patrick Mahomes’ cap hit will reach nearly $60 million by 2027
The Chiefs are in an envious position for the next few seasons in terms of Mahomes’ cap hit. Mahomes carries only a $5.3 million hit this upcoming season, and it doesn’t leap to astronomical levels right away.
However, by 2027 Mahomes will carry a massive $59.9 million cap hit. That’s about 25% of the team’s current cap. Mahomes is a special player, but no NFL QB is worth a fourth of the team’s cap. The Chiefs will have a tough time paying the other 52 players their worth by 2027, and they’ll most likely be forced to let talented players walk.
Mahomes’ massive deal might already kick a special player to the curb before the 2020 season. Chris Jones has been adamant about receiving a new contract all offseason, and he deserves one. With the Chiefs shelling out nearly $50 million per year on one player, it’s unlikely Jones sees the money he’s asking for.
He might be the first Chief to run into this problem, but he surely won’t be the last while Mahomes is still in town. Mahomes is a transcendent talent, but no one can win in the NFL by themselves. The Chiefs will have a tough time building balanced rosters while Mahomes is commanding a huge portion of the cap, and it will eventually derail their dreams of a dynasty.
Ten-year contracts don’t have a great success rate in the NFL
Mahomes actually isn’t the first NFL player to garner a 10-year contract extension. Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Drew Bledsoe, and Michael Vick all received similar deals during their careers.
McNabb led the Eagles to multiple NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance, but he has no rings to show for it. Favre also never won a Super Bowl during his “lifetime” deal with the Packers. Bledsoe played just two games for the Patriots after signing his contract, and Vick only played three years of his 10-year deal.
Zero Super Bowls between the four massive contracts. There’s something to be said about committing too many assets to one player. They might be the most valuable, but football requires the other 21 starters to contribute just as much as the MVP.
The Chiefs might be popping champagne today, but they will soon regret the day they made Patrick Mahomes the world’s richest athlete.
All contract info courtesy of Spotrac