QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs restructure contract to record-setting level, reports say

Chiefs Jaguars Football
Posted at 2:29 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-18 16:57:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs reached an agreement to restructure his contract, according to multiple NFL insiders.

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter said via social media Monday that Mahomes will make $210.6 million between 2023 and 2026, which is the most for NFL history over a four-season span.

Mahomes' compensation for those years is guaranteed.

The reworked agreement also gives Mahomes the chance to receive escalators, which could bump his total guaranteed money to $218.1 million by end of 2026, according NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year extension worth more than $45 million per season before the 2020 season, also restructured his deal in 2021 to free up $17 million in cap space.

The newly restructured deal doesn't add any years to his contract, which runs through 2031, but it provides a significant salary increase for the next four seasons.

Mahomes, who turned 28 on Sunday, has won two NFL MVP awards and two Super Bowl MVPs. He's one of three players in NFL history with multiple regular-season and Super Bowl MVPs, joining Tom Brady and Joe Montana.

When he signed his extension three years ago, Mahomes' contract was the richest in NFL history, but several new deals for quarterbacks have eclipsed the average annual value of his deal in recent years.

Cleveland's Deshaun Watson, Arizona's Kyler Murray, Denver's Russell Wilson, Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts, Baltimore's Lamar Jackson, the Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herbert and Cincinnati's Joe Burrow have all received contracts with a higher per-year average in recent years.

The four big dominoes that fell this offseason — deals for Hurts, Jackson, Herbert and Burrow — all topped $51 million in average annual value.

The crescendo came last week when Burrow reset the QB market with a five-year extension, which averages $55 million per season.

Mahomes and the Chiefs downplayed the significance of the looming long-term deals for Herbert, who signed a five-year extension worth $262.5 million in late July, and Burrow during the offseason.

Kansas City's general manager, Brett Veach, indicated in April that the two sides would revisit the issue after Herbert and Burrow inked new deals.

But there was never a doubt that Mahomes' camp, led by agent Chris Cabott, would ask the Chiefs to sweeten the pot — after all, he's the best quarterback in the NFL at the moment and a future Hall of Famer despite being in only his seventh season.

“Me, my agent and the team always keep open communication,” Mahomes said in May. “We try to do whatever is the best for the team, but obviously I want to do the best for myself as well.”

Mahomes said he was more worried “about legacy and winning rings.”

As for being the highest-paid QB, Mahomes said in May,

“You just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks whenever their contracts come up. You want to kind of keep the bar pushing. It’s not about being the highest-paid guy; 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. But at the same time, you’ve got to 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.”

Mahomes already was set to receive the most money among all NFL players in 2023, according to Over the Cap, but he was set to slide to 12th among quarterbacks by 2026, behind even veterans like New Orleans' Derek Carr and the New York Giants' Daniel Jones.

By making the move now, the Chiefs, who endured a protracted contract holdout with star defensive tackle Chris Jones, have cost certainty for the next years in building a roster around Mahomes to keep the championship window open.