ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes entered the Missouri Western State University training ground on Sunday, flanked by NFL rookies and longshots, many of whom dream of doing in a year what the quarterback of the Chiefs will do so by the end of the day.
Yet when the Chiefs open the season in Arizona on Sept. 11, Mahomes won’t even be the highest-paid QB in the game.
Yes, Mahomes kicked off the market when he signed a 10-year, $450 million deal in July 2020, but that astonishing deal has been topped — in terms of average salary and guaranteed compensation — multiple times over the years. last two years. And the latest to join the club with a skyrocketing quarterback deal is the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray, whose 5-year, $230.5 million deal signed this week surpasses Mahomes in average salary by more than a year. million per year.
This is all good for Mahomes, whose inherent humility means he doesn’t mind seeing others get their due.
“You want the salaries to keep going up, your players to earn more and more,” Mahomes said. “When I saw my deal, I knew I was going to be pretty ready for life, no matter what kind of market. But you keep playing. I mean, money is one thing, but when you get a Super Bowl ring in your career, I mean, that’s the kind of thing you look back on.
Mahomes earned that ring with a victory over San Francisco on a hot night in Miami in February 2020.
It’s something missing from the resume of Murray, who lost the only playoff game of his first three seasons in the league, along with just about every other whose contract rivals that of the Kansas City quarterback. .
There’s the Bills’ Josh Allen, who signed a six-year deal worth more than $258 million last August and whose 3-3 playoff record includes a dramatic overtime loss to Kansas City. last season. And Deshaun Watson of the Browns, who is 1-2 in the playoffs but signed a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract in March. And Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, who signed a four-year, $160 million contract last year despite never playing for a conference title.
Mahomes played for the last four of them, winning two with both losses in biting finishes.
“I’m thinking particularly of the quarterback position, because the next guy or the best guy or one of those top quarterbacks, they make such a difference in NFL games, that (the contracts) are going to be dropped,” Mahomes explained. “And I mean, if you look at the guys who signed last year until this year, they’ve been left behind.”
He expects the same to happen when Justin Herbert of the Chargers and Joe Burrow of the Bengals sign new deals.
Mahomes was quick to make a crucial point about his own deal, however: “I was going to make sure I got paid, like I said, to take care of your family. But I also want to have a great team around me. And no matter what, I’m going to make sure I have a great team around me for the rest of my career.
The Chiefs spent the last offseason lavishly, in both free agency and the draft, rebuilding an offensive line that failed to protect Mahomes against Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl. And while general manager Brett Veach was still forced to make tough financial decisions — like trading Tyreek Hill rather than giving the wide receiver a record-breaking contract — he was still able to land players such as JuJu Smith-Schuster , Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Ronald Jones II to assist.
Mahomes also understands the responsibility that comes with his heavy contract. That was evident last offseason, when he invited wide receivers, running backs and tight ends to his home in Texas for voluntary workouts.
“Patrick is doing a great job with his leadership ability,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week. “He understands his strengths, he understands his weaknesses and he is ready to work on his weaknesses like a wild man. He attacks all of these things, and he wants you to coach him and coach him hard.
Regardless of what Mahomes’ bank account might say.
“I want the Chiefs to be at the top of the standings. I want to do everything I can to put us in those positions,” he said. “It all depends on how you play on the court. You you can have these off-season lifts and all that kind of thing, but ultimately it’s going to be who’s there in the middle of February holding that trophy and getting that ring So I think whenever you have the motivation to be the best and to win as a team, everything else takes care of itself.
Notes: The Chiefs practice again Monday with rookies and quarterbacks before the veterans show up later in the day. The first full team practice is Wednesday. … WR Cornell Powell was the star of Sunday’s practice with several impressive catches in traffic. … LB Leo Chenal was back at work after leaving Saturday practice early due to heat exhaustion.
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