KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are always thinking about Patrick Mahomes’ contract.
The franchise that once had the richest quarterback in sports will have to reevaluate the contract of their top player every time a new young quarterback gets a robust contract.
Patrick Mahomes signed his 10-year, $503 million contract in July 2020. His yearly salary is fourth among quarterbacks in 2023 and falls down the chart after that.
Mahomes is set to make $40.45 million this year and his yearly money doesn’t surpass more than $42 million until 2027 when he’s scheduled to make $59 million.
Here are the other three quarterbacks in front of him for 2023:
- Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: $80 million
- New York Giants QB Daniel Jones: $46 million
- Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson: $46 million
Mahomes doesn’t even crack the top five in yearly salary in 2024 behind the three quarterbacks above as well as Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson.
Contracts for Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert and Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow are also expected to be record-breaking as well.
Mahomes and the Chiefs’ front office have often relayed that they are in constant contact about the always-changing quarterback market. But at the end of the day, Mahomes wants to keep the best players around him more than being highly paid.
“I’ve always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” Mahomes said Wednesday.
“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.”
The biggest contract seemingly for the Chiefs now is defensive tackle Chris Jones who is entering the final season of his contract and expecting to make $20 million this year. His contract is not in the top five of earnings for this year.
Mahomes said his aim is not to be the highest QB in the league, but he doesn’t want to hurt other quarterback contracts when they come up either.
“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,” he said.
“But at the same time, you gotta 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 able to compete in these games.”
The 27-year-old said balancing getting enough money and keeping good players on the team is a hard line to walk that all top quarterbacks have to tangle with.
“And I think you see the guys that are getting paid this last offseason, they’re trying to find that right spot. Everybody wants to get paid a lot of money and whenever they think they’re the best at their craft, they wanna get paid like that,” Mahomes said.
“But at the same time, if you look at the greats in the league, I mean they find that right spot where they’re getting paid a lot of money, but at the same time keeping a lot of these great players around me.
“And so I understand you look at the team and you know, you got guys like Chris and Sneed and even Travis, all these guys that you need to keep around you to have these great teams. But at the same time, you wanna make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
“So we have open communication. I think that’s the biggest thing. And you see that from [Chiefs Chairman/CEO] Clark [Hunt]. You see that from Coach Reid, you see that from [Chiefs general manager Brett] Veach and everybody is, we just try to make sure that we have the best team on that football field and everybody gets what they deserve.”
For the Chiefs to continue their winning ways, navigating that line and working out the salary cap in lockstep with their franchise player is of the utmost importance.