Report: Patrick Mahomes Likely to Restructure Chiefs Contract to Save Cap SpaceMarch 12, 2021
The Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes are reportedly working to restructure the quarterback's record-setting 10-year, $450 million contract.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday the Chiefs plan to convert Mahomes' $21.7 million roster bonus into a signing bonus to create $17 million in salary-cap space.
Contract restructures are coming in at a torrid pace around the NFL as front offices find creative solutions to get below the $182.5 million cap. That's a sizable decline from the $198.2 million cap for 2020 because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who knocked off the defending champion Chiefs in Super Bowl LV last month, reworked his deal with a four-year extension voidable after 2022 that saved the Bucs $19 million against the cap, per Schefter.
Mahomes' lucrative contract, which he signed after being named MVP of Super Bowl LIV last year, was always a restructure target to help Kansas City in the short term.
Once the move is complete, the Chiefs will be back under the cap with some wiggle room at the start of free agency. They're currently $4.3 million over the cap based on their top-51 roster, per Spotrac.
Getting there didn't come without some tough decisions. Kansas City released both of its starting offensive tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, on Thursday, and starting center Austin Reiter is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
The Chiefs will need to rebuild much of the offensive line in front of Mahomes, giving him incentive to help the front office with its financial challenges.
After the 25-year-old Texas Tech product signed the contract last July, he said it included flexibility to help keep the roster around him strong.
"You want to have great players around you," Mahomes told reporters. "You don't want to be a guy that takes up all the money and then all of a sudden you're having to sign different guys that will take cheaper deals. We're going to be able to reward players and keep a lot of these guys around that have built the culture even before I was here."
Given the length of the deal, it probably won't be the last time Mahomes and the Chiefs restructure it to help handle the team's cap situation on a year-to-year basis.