KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Any discussion about the future of the Chiefs franchise starts with Patrick Mahomes at this point.
And if it’s up to Clark Hunt, the reigning league MVP would stay in Kansas City for his entire career.
In his annual midseason availability, the Chiefs owner said Wednesday that the franchise has never had one like Mahomes.
“I think it is no secret that in the National Football League, to win championships, you need somebody very special at the quarterback position,” Hunt said. “We have had some outstanding players here over the years, but I don’t think that we have had one like Patrick Mahomes in a very long time.”
The QB is up for a contract extension at the end of this season, something Hunt said the team is excited to start working on. But they’re not going to get ahead of themselves.
“It’s probably a little bit premature to be talking about a new contract,” Hunt said. “Everyone knows that the first opportunity that we’ll have to re-sign him will come at the end of this season. But that is a decision that we will have to make with his representatives.”
He didn’t say whether that contract would happen this year or later.
The Chiefs have been planning their future around signing Mahomes to a long-term contract for quite awhile now.
General manager Bret Veach said in February that some of the financial decisions made dating back to 2018, such as the way the franchise structured contracts and how they approached free agency and the draft, were done with Mahomes in mind.
“Even last year, we were putting a plan together,” Veach said in February. “I think we have a good plan, and everything we do structure-wise will allow for necessary room moving forward.”
Some have suggested Mahomes could ultimately sign the first $200 million contract in NFL history when he’s eligible for his extension.
“He is the centerpiece, and you build the team around him within the constraints of the salary cap,” Hunt said Wednesday.
The Chiefs owner said he was impressed with how Mahomes handled himself while he was out for with his injured knee.
“It’s hard particularly when you’re a leader and you’re not playing,” he said. “I thought he handled that well. I think we all saw what he did on the sideline to encourage his teammates, including going out and congratulating Harrison (Butker) after he made that kick to win the game against Minnesota.
“He has done a fantastic job. I hate to say that we expect it at this point, but we really do. He is a fantastic young man and a really outstanding leader.”
And despite a tough loss against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Hunt is confident in his quarterback. After all, Mahomes threw for nearly 450 yards after coming back from injury.
With several strong players around Mahomes, Hunt said he’s got faith his team can compete for a Super Bowl this season.
“I’ve been very encouraged by what I’ve seen, this past weekend notwithstanding,” the Chiefs owner said.
“I do think the defense is improving. With Patrick back and now getting more of our offensive starters back, I think the offense can be as least as good as it was last year, if not better. And you put that together, and that gives you an opportunity to win a Super Bowl.”
The Chiefs are now 6-4 this season. They’ll head to Mexico City on Monday to face the Chargers.