Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes said he's not concerned about the ever-rising salaries for quarterbacks as he prepares to start his 10-year, $450 million contract.
Mahomes signed his extension with K.C. in 2020 when he still had two years left on his rookie deal. The deal's $45 million average is down to fourth in the NFL behind three other QBs: the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million), Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray ($46.1 million) and Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson ($46 million), per Spotrac.
The 2018 NFL MVP told reporters Friday he's not worried about potentially missing out on some short-term financial gains by signing a long-term deal early:
"When I signed my deal, I knew I was going to be pretty set for life, regardless of what the market kind of happens. But you just keep playing. Money is one thing, but when you get those Super Bowl rings, at the end of your career, I think that's going to be what you look back upon. I think I've made enough money from the football field and obviously off of it as well, that it won't matter at the end of the day."
Mahomes added he expects other young signal-callers such as the Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herbert and Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow will soon eclipse his yearly salary. The Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson will likely be in that group, as well.
"The next guy is the top-paid guy," the Chiefs' franchise cornerstone said.
That's the bottom line. The NFL is a cash cow. With revenues continuing to soar, the salary cap will rise and every year the quarterback extensions will set new records.
A QB could conceivably sign a series of one-year contracts to maximize his financial potential in that environment. That said, there's also security in long-term extensions, both in terms of locking in a professional home and not risking future earnings because of injury.
Mahomes' contract is already starting to look quite favorable for the Chiefs, and it'll probably continue to trend in that direction over the next decade.
The 26-year-old Texas Tech product has tallied 159 total touchdowns (151 passing and eight rushing) across 63 regular-season appearances across five NFL seasons. He's added 33 scores (28 passing and five rushing) in 11 playoff games.
Kansas City has reached at least the AFC Championship Game in all four seasons he's been the starter, highlighted by two Super Bowl appearances and a championship in 2019.
Mahomes will face a new challenge this season as he'll lead a Chiefs offense without his longtime favorite target Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins.
The four-time Pro Bowler still has a deep receiving corps at his disposal, led by tight end Travis Kelce and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore.
While that should be enough to keep the Chiefs offense among the NFL's best, they figure to face plenty of competition within the loaded AFC West.
Having Mahomes should help K.C. weather the storm, though. The Chiefs will kick off the regular season Sept. 11 when they visit State Farm Stadium to take on the Arizona Cardinals.