Things could get expensive for the Kansas City Chiefs sooner than later with quarterback contracts around the league skyrocketing. Patrick Mahomes, the owner of two MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs, is currently in the midst of a 10-year, $450 million contract.
At the time of signing, it made him the highest-paid player in the NFL. While no one has come close to his $450 million total, others have surpassed him in annual value. With new deals on the horizon for Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa, Mahomes could find himself near the 10th spot.
The Chiefs are willing to make Mahomes the highest-paid player in the league ahead of the 2023 season kicking off. But, that isn’t something that Mahomes is worried about. He wants to be paid well and receive a contract that matches his worth, but his focus is elsewhere.
“Me, my agent, and the team always keep open communication. We try to do whatever is the best for the team,” Mahomes said in his press conference. “But, obviously, I want to do what’s best for myself as well. But at the same time, I’ve always said, I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment.
“But I know we keep communication, we see what’s going on around the league. But at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So, it’s kind of teetering on that line.” (H/T ProFootballTalk)
The title of highest-paid player in the NFL is something Mahomes will likely reclaim at one point or another. Only entering his prime now, he has accomplished an entire career’s worth of accolades in his first six seasons in the NFL, only the last five of which have been as the starter.
But, he insists being the highest-paid player isn’t a motivating factor for him. He is focused on winning but also knows he has a responsibility to set the market so that his peers aren’t negatively impacted by his contract as well.
“It’s more of, you just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks whenever their contracts come up,” Mahomes said. “You want to keep the bar pushing. So, it’s not about being the highest-paid guy, it’s not about making a ton of money. I’ve made enough money where I’ll be set for the rest of my life.
“But, at the same time, you’ve got to find that line where you’re making a good amount of money but you’re still keeping a lot of great players around you so you can win these Super Bowls and you’re going to be able to compete in these games.”
It is certainly easier said than done walking that line. Signing too small of a deal will jeopardize other players from maximizing their earning potential. But, sign for too much money and the Chiefs would be hamstrung, unable to keep a competitive roster built up around him.
Based on what he has said, Mahomes would certainly lean toward signing a deal that will help keep the roster around him flush with talent. The front office has done a wonderful job managing that thus far as the Chiefs remain an elite team despite key contributors moving on each offseason.