Chiefs GM Veach on QB Patrick Mahomes’ contract: ‘We have a lot of time’

APTOPIX 49ers Chiefs Super Bowl Football
Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 15:15:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith was being traded and Patrick Mahomes was set to become the Chiefs’ starting quarterback when the NFL world gathered for the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

That’s when and where Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach made a bold — since fairly well back-up claim — that Mahomes was “one of the best players” he’d ever seen.

“The good thing is, he still is,” Veach joked Tuesday as the NFL gathered again in Indianapolis for the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

All Mahomes has done in the years since is win the NFL MVP, joining Peyton Manning as the only quarterback in league history to throw for at least 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season, and snap a half-century Super Bowl drought in Kansas City.

“When you’ve been around football your entire life, sometimes you take for granted how great these players are that you see,” Veach said. “When this kid comes in and makes these talented football players look average, you know you’re seeing something that the league [is] maybe not ready for.”

Among the more important questions facing the Chiefs before the 2020 season, and the quest for a Super Bowl repeat, ramps up, is Mahomes’ future.

He’s going to remain in Kansas City. That isn’t in doubt, but terms of a contract extension — both in number of years and total value — will become the defining force for the Chiefs’ salary-cap situation in the coming years.

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“We have a lot of time, and that’s a good thing in regards to Pat," Veach said, "but I’m almost certain we’ll continue dialogue with him … As we work through the new landscape of the NFL and the new CBA, we’ll certainly get together and, hopefully, we can get something done. But that’s another big priority.”

Mahomes just completed the third year of his rookie contract, so this is the Chiefs’ first chance to negotiate an extension with the NFL’s brightest young star — an unparalleled talent on the field and already a beloved community figure.

“Special kid, special player and to have him work with Coach [Andy] Reid has been a blessing for our organization and the Chiefs Kingdom,” Veach said. “Hopefully, we have a lot more Super Bowls to win with him, and we’re excited to get after the next one.”

It's possible the Chiefs will look to extend Mahomes, who theoretically could become a free agent after the 2020 season, during the offseason.

Contract talks also could pick up again during training camp.

The timing will be dictated largely by the timing of the league's new collective-bargaining agreement with the NFL Players' Association, which will determine any changes to the salary cap for the 2021 season and beyond.

Both sides will want to be sure Mahomes' contract, which likely will be a record-breaking deal, takes care of him, but also keeps open the Chiefs' championship window.