The Kansas City Chiefs knew they struck gold when they selected quarterback Patrick Mahomes II out of Texas Tech University with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. In his three-years of college play for the Red Raiders, Mahomes showcased once in a generation-like talent with incredible throwing abilities and dangerous mobility that he can use to extend plays, leading to massive gains. He is set to become the highest-paid athlete in the world and fellow quarterbacks in the NFL will be looking for similar deals, but they won’t get them.
Know Your Worth
When NFL players see someone “reset the market” with a contract extension, they expect to receive a similar deal. This trend has been apparent throughout recent years, as players, at the quarterback position especially, are demanding larger contracts than what their value supports. A notorious example is L.A. Rams QB Jared Goff. Prior to his huge extension featuring an annual average value (AAV) of roughly $33.5 million — ranking the fifth highest in the NFL — he started 31 games for the Rams from 2017 to 2018, with a 24-7-0 record and completed 660 passes on 1,038 attempts (63.6 CMP%) for 8,492 yards, 60 TDs, 19 INTs, and 20 fumbles while being sacked 58 times (5.3 sack% on each play), topping it all off with a 100.8 quarterback rating. In 2019, after signing his massive $134 million contract extension, with more than $57 million guaranteed (per overthecap), he started 16 games and led the Rams to a depressing 9-7-0 record — after having a 13-3-0 record just the year before — and completed 394 passes on 626 attempts (62.9 CMP%) for 4,368 yards, 22 TDs, 16 INTs, and 10 fumbles while being sacked 22 times (5.0 sack%), with a terrible 86.5 quarterback rating (per pro-football-reference). Upon seeing the value of Atlanta Falcons’ franchise QB Matt Ryan’s contract extension, with a $30 million AAV, Jared Goff felt that he deserved a similar contract after producing back-to-back 10+ win seasons, as well as a Super Bowl appearance. What everyone failed to see, is that it wasn’t Jared Goff who led the Rams into becoming an elite team. The cause for their success was their superstar running back, Todd Gurley II. Heartbreaking news struck the incredible running back when he was informed of having an arthritic component in his knee during their 2018 playoff run. His chronic injury led to the eventual release of the former All-Pro back, due to the inability to carry the run-heavy/play-action offense as he once did, which directly resulted in the regression of Jared Goff. Goff is an average player who can fake the run well, but can’t throw a perfect spiral — the basic skill of an NFL quarterback. Now, Goff is currently sitting in the Rams’ locker room eating up cap space like Joey Chestnut eats hotdogs on the 4th of July.
New in Town
Since his professional debut, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has emerged as the face of the NFL. He took the league by storm his first year as a starter when he led the Chiefs to a 12-4-0 regular-season record, completing 383 passes on 580 attempts (66 CMP%) for 5,097 yards, 50 TDs, 12 INTs, and a 113.8 quarterback rating, additionally compiling 272 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, with 9 fumbles. He would add onto his dominant year with a deep playoff run, but was cut short due to a pre-snap penalty late in the 4th Quarter of the AFC Championship that resulted in a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots. For his efforts that year, Mahomes made the Pro-Bowl, was named First-Team All-Pro, and league MVP (Not a big deal). In his second year as a starter, Mahomes battled nagging injuries that forced him to miss two games on the season. Despite his struggles, he still finished with 319 completions on 484 pass attempts (65.9 CMP%) for 4,031 yards, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, and a 105.3 quarterback rating, additionally compiling 218 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, with three fumbles. In the playoffs, Mahomes would redeem himself from the loss he suffered the year before by winning the Super Bowl. During the Chiefs’ playoff run, he overcame several large deficits that ended up becoming some of the greatest post-season comebacks in NFL history, including a 1st Quarter deficit as they were losing to the Houston Texans 21-0 in the AFC Divisional Round, before launching an insane comeback to win 51-31. In the Super Bowl, he led a 4th Quarter comeback to defeat the San Fransisco 49ers by scoring 21 unanswered points that started with a miraculous 4th & 15 conversion on a drive that ended with a momentum-shifting touchdown. Mahomes capped off this feat by being crowned Super Bowl MVP and unquestionably asserting himself as the best quarterback in the league.
The New Standard
As the sensational quarterback and ketchup fanatic is set to become the highest-paid athlete in the world after signing a 10-year extension (adding to the already existing 2 years left on his rookie deal) with a potential value north of $500 million, with a $45 million AAV, everyone is wondering how this record-shattering contract will impact the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL going forward? Best said by Mr. Owl, “Let’s Find Out”. The only way you’re getting a big contract is if you are a Patrick Mahomes-caliber player. This is the one and only exception to all contract signings. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson isn’t going to sign for $520 million for 10-years, nor is Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson going to sign for $480 million for 14-years. Likewise, this also does not change the fact that Dak Prescott deserves less than $35 million a year in his new contract. This signing simply creates the new standard that in order to be paid like the best, you need to play like the best. The only way you’re going to play like the best is if you are Patrick Mahomes.