As noted in these pages last week, we’ve recently seen a lot of conversation (and speculation) about the possibility that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will soon renegotiate his contract.
Some have been arguing that this will be the inevitable result of multiple NFL quarterbacks signing contracts that carry a higher average annual value (AAV) than the record-setting 10-year, $503 million contract extension Mahomes signed less than three years ago — and still has nine full seasons yet to run.
But asked about it directly for the first time since the speculation brewed up in earnest, Mahomes re-stated his previous position.
“It’s not about being the highest-paid guy,” he insisted to reporters after Wednesday’s OTA session at the team’s practice facility. “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 the Super Bowls and you’re able to compete in these games.”
Once again, Mahomes spoke about emphasizing his legacy over his net worth.
“I’ve always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” he reminded his listeners — and then noted that just the same, he and his agent are still keeping an eye on what’s happening with other quarterback contracts. “We keep communication; we see what’s going on around the league — but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s gonna hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it’s kind of teetering around that line.”
Mahomes said that as one of the league’s top players (if not the top player), he has a responsibility to “keep the bar pushing” for his peers.
“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. Whenever they think they’re the best at their craft, they want to get paid like that.
“But at the same time, if you look at the greats in the league, they found that right spot where they’re getting paid a lot of money — but at the same time, [they were] keeping a lot of these great players around [them].”
So, in the end, Mahomes sees it as a balancing act. Right now, he doesn’t seem to be worried about having a lower AAV than more than half a dozen NFL quarterbacks. But if that situation shifts significantly (or if he changes his mind about his own priorities) he and his agents are staying in close contact with team owner Clark Hunt, head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach — all of whom say they are working just as hard to stay in contact with Mahomes and his team.
“I think that’s the biggest thing,” said Mahomes. “And you see that from Clark, you see that from Coach Reid, you see that from Veach and everybody. We just try to make sure that we have the best team on that football field — and everybody gets what they deserve.”