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Chiefs Lock Up Mahomes for a Decade

Patrick Mahomes turns 25 in September. He has already won a Super Bowl and an MVP award. The Chiefs have made sure that any other awards he wins in the next ten years will come in a Kansas City uniform.

Schefter clarified that Mahomes' new deal won't start until the final two years of his current contract expire.

Dollar amounts have not been released yet. I think $450 million in total value is a reasonable over/under.

UPDATE: Some dollar values, although we don't know exactly what's up until we see the real value of each year.

Comments

80 comments, Last at 10 Jul 2020, 4:19pm

1 Unless Mahomes runs into…

Unless Mahomes runs into injury problems or has a significant drop off in play this will be great for the Chiefs. However large amount of money Mahomes will be getting paid, it won't be that much compared to other QBs towards the end of the deal.

2 I'm a bit surprised Mahomes…

I'm a bit surprised Mahomes wants a 10 year deal. By year 4 he may be the 10th Highest paid QB. Predicting cap growth plus inflation is hard.  

4 Cap Always Growing

The cap may have grown exponentially over the last 20 years but is that guaranteed to continue? Personally I think a 10 year deal with a pile of money is a great bet when there could be a couple year delay due to everything else happening in the world right now.

Although I'm Canadian, and in Winnipeg, and so we have a much different take on managing the current Covid-19 opening.

9 It's more than that:…

It's more than that: quarterback salary growth has outpaced cap growth for like, ever. Which is, well, obviously unsustainable. If you assume current QB salary is ~$30M, in order to have a $45M/year average, that would require around 8-9% per annum growth rate.

This is a smart deal for Mahomes. If someone said that the NFL salary cap would double by 2030, I wouldn't take that bet.

10 An additional regular season…

An additional regular season game + additional playoff games should bring in a lot more revenue in "normal" times. We also have no idea how teams will continue to economize in the future. I think theres enough uncertainty in 10 years that I maintain, he will likely be considered underpaid by the time half the contract has finished. 

13 Curious about percentages

I'm curious what percentages you would give to different events happening. What do you think the odds are that the cap (and QB value) go up? The cap stagnates? Or the cap regresses?

While fantasy sports and gambling are a huge boon for viewer numbers do you think there's enough of an economic downturn coming paired with the societies move towards other entertainment (be that basketball or e-sports)?

16 That's a very very hard…

That's a very very hard question to answer and would take a lot of energy to devote to answering it with some precision.

Let's talk pre Covid. Here are some quick points to keep in mind:

1) Team valuations keep going up and I wonder how much the cap is tied to the valuations and not strictly to revenues. If owner's feel richer because their paper wealth has risen, they will accept higher cap numbers.

2) Even if the Cap grows more slowly over time, the salient point is about how much of the cap allocation will go to qbs. I believe the percentage of the cap devoted to QBs has been on the rise as well. There's obviously some hard ceiling it will reach but what is that number? 

3) while other sports may(or may not) be poaching some of the NFL fans, the hard numbers show that international viewership has been on the rise. That introduces a major wildcard. Maybe it never rises above fringe sport in other countries but there's a chance it eventually sticks. Maybe if someone from the UK or Australia becomes the Luka Doncic, Dirk Nowitzki or Yao Ming of the NFL, it could gain a foothold.

Living in Covid Land:

This is the ultimate elephant in the room. As an economist, the damage is real and it will hit the sports world for a while. As consumer spending has plummeted(and may not rebound fully for a while) this will hurt the NFL's advertisers and inexorably the NFL itself. That plus a couple years of tepid fan attendance(or none at all for the upcoming year) will have its own ripple effects.

 

19 Yep. This is a great deal…

Yep. This is a great deal under the circumstances.  There isn't a single person on earth that can definitively state that we'll have a vaccine in 2021, 2022, or 2023, if ever.  Under a scenario in which coronavirus continues to linger, the NFL will be severely impacted.  TV networks pay for large portions of their deals with TV advertising dollars.  There's little reason to advertise if millions remain unemployed and those that have a job face severe restrictions on their activities.  This will become an issue during the next set of TV deals.  I don't see how the NFL can extract a big increase if the 2020 and 2021 seasons are played under a cloud of coronavirus with restrictions on fan attendance and crummy economy. All of those incremental revenue drivers - Sunday Ticket, the London games, the Mexico City game, the draft, the Pro Bowl, etc - will either be eliminated or will post significantly smaller revenue numbers. 

21 This is a good deal - most of the time

As I see it this is an unbelievable deal in most eventualities. At present, government's the world over are spending gobs of money and reducing production of goods of value, a phenomena likely to produce more inflation the longer it goes on. I see a few possible scenarios 1) the lockdowns/spending end soon and their is a soft restart to the economy (the current course); this makes this deal risky since the future economics of football are unclear and there isn't enough inflationary pressure yet to make this deal look small on the 10year time scale. 2) there is a high-efficacy treatment/vaccine within the 6 months, in which case there is a hard bounce in economic activity and the spending already out the door is sufficient to be inflationary, in this world this is a good deal. 3) there is a second, long, hard, lockdown to try to put the COVID genie back in the bottle. This almost certainly means lots of inflation, so even though the NFL is disproportionately impacted by the back half of the contract looks cheap because all our wallets will be full of $100 bills instead of $20's.

The lesson of the 08 is not to bet on the system blowing up. If your wrong you lose, if your 100% right you lose because there system in which you've advanced no longer exists, and if your partially right (e.g. Goldman Sachs) than the angry mob comes and persecutes you for profiteering. On the other hand betting on the system to prevail has lots of potential upside.

 

27 I don't understand why…

I don't understand why Kansas City would do this deal.  If there is significant inflation as you suggest, the salary cap will presumably increase.  If that happens, Mahomes will be underpaid on the back half of his deal and will force a renegotiation.  Of course, that would require him to still be one of the best QB's in the league.  If he's not one of the best, then the Chiefs have an overpaid QB.

10 years in the NFL is a long time.

31 I'd suggest the Chiefs are a…

I'd suggest the Chiefs are a well run enough organisation that if Mahomes deal gets to a point where he's terribly underpaid they will renegotiate with him.  Why on earth would you play hardball with a generational QB?  But if it's SB MVP Joe Flacco then sure you do.

In the end, $450m is a lot of money. Bear in mind that Drew Brees and Tom Brady are just hitting $250m earned.  And Mahomes will be 35 at the end of the contract and in a position, should he desire, to go do a few years at whatever the future market rate is.

If I'm Mahomes, I'm content to take that deal knowing that it leaves cap space to surround me with weapons and maybe even a defence to make things easier.

The big question mark to a 10-year deal is whether Andy Reid is still there at the end? He'll be 73 which isn't out of the question but he doesn't look the healthiest guy around.

 

37 "deflation is far worse than…

"deflation is far worse than inflation"

Tell that to the Weimar republic, Latin America during the 90s, and lots and lots of other examples. Inflation wipe out savings and encourage people to park money overseas and destroys government reputations for years. Inflation used to pay off debt is a form of default.  

 

 "so all that government spending is a) a good thing and b) unlikely to cause inflation"

. For point a) - this is really up for debate. no one ever pays attention to the pernicious side of mass bailouts. Moral hazard is a thing and is taught in a lot of economic lectures. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that the businesses that received a bailout were mostly funded with debt. because they knew on some level the government was going to bail them out. it is beyond wishful thinking to hope that the next time there's a crisis every other business won't adopt a similar strategy.

For point B) - this is also untrue. If people suspect that government's will not honor their debts and will print money to avoid outright default, they  stop buying government bonds and purchase goods and services instead. This has happened in Asia and Latin America and Zimbabwe and Germany after both wars.... 

 

38 Inflationary Pressures

"they  stop buying government bonds and purchase goods and services instead." - This may be true, but a really significant factor is the cut-off of potential goods to spend money on. At present through much of the average consumer has lost ~20% of the destinations for his money (resteraunts, barbers, live sports, etc...). There is this strange assumption that this will turn Americans into savers. It seems far more likely that this will result in all the cash chasing whatever things that the consumers can do. For example I went to SAIL (a store that sells camping gear) last weekend and found the place effectively ransacked for stock from all my fellow urbanites with no other way to go on vacation. I suspect when they get new stock it will be substantially more expensive. In this way you can actual produce inflation via a reduction in the supply of goods & services. This is what happened in Britain during & after the blitz (which is a pretty good broken-windows example of what's happing durring a lock-down).

39 In the Weimar Republic, the…

In the Weimar Republic, the deflation of the 1930s was indeed worse than the hyperinflation of the 1920s. Inflation is relatively easy to get under control, we know how to do it. The hyperinflation in Germany lasted about 18 months. The Great Depression, by contrast, lasted a decade and today, 12 years on from the Great Recession, the employment/population ratio still hasn't recovered.

Deflation is far worse.

42 It's worth noting that there…

It's worth noting that there's a difference between "inflation due to economic policy" and "inflation due to government stupidity." Hyperinflation is basically always caused by governments trying to do something that's economically crippling and massively stupid.

For instance, if the US does end up with a problem with inflation, it won't be because of deficit spending during an economic downturn. Does that cause inflation? Yeah, but it's *normal*. It's not the "structurally stupid" kind.

49 I think that's right. I am…

I think that's right. I am referring to government induced inflation to pay off debts. People think that's an easy problem to solve. And it is, stop spending the cash. So why do they do it? Because its politically easier to pay debts with printed money than it is to outright accept sovereign default.

 

Btw, when people say that deflation is worse. I think they think of the great depression and say that was a product of deflation. That's not entirely true but that's a point for another day. My point was this - default(whether explicit or implicit via inflation) damages the country in the short term but also in the long term. Economic growth depends on good governmental reputations. No one invests in Greece for a reason. India's treasury bonds pay a lot more interest for a reason. The US dollar is the reserve currency for a reason. Damaging long term growth is probably the most pernicious cost you can impose on a nation as it lowers standards of living exponentially. 

22 "I think theres enough…

"I think theres enough uncertainty in 10 years that I maintain, he will likely be considered underpaid by the time half the contract has finished."

I'd take that bet. In a heartbeat.

To be clear, the one thing that's usually missed in these contracts is that while the player's salary (usually) increases over time, their actual value typically *decreases* over time, because their contracts are finite (and of course their actual playing value increases, then decreases, typically, but there's a difference between current value on the field and long-term value). When this contract's half done, Mahomes will be 30 years old and probably earning ~$45-50M/year.

In 2024, for instance, Goff and Wentz will both be making ~$30M as a 30-year old QB in the final years of their contract. The value of a 30-year old QB isn't going to grow 50% in 2 years.

24 I think you're missing a…

I think you're missing a couple of things here: based on its current structure, Mahomes is "only" going to be making $42M in his age 30 season in 2025. A lot of the salary increases in his deal are way backloaded. It appears to me that it's not until 2026/2027 before the Chiefs have to start committing to paying him in the $45-50M/year range - that's still an awfully long way off. (He is slated to make $60M in 2027, so that might be a point where his cap number would give him some leverage to re-negotiate for a raise if the back end of the deal ages poorly.)

I might argue that we're not that far off today from a $42M value for a top 30 year old QB. Russell Wilson just signed for $35M/year last offseason before his age 31 season. Plus, QBs still make top of the market money well into their 30s. Aaron Rodgers signed an extension two full years ago going into his age 35 season with an APY of $33.5M/year. Kirk Cousins just extended for $33M/year going into his age 32 season.

44 You're comparing those…

You're comparing those contracts wrong. In 2025 he'll be *making* $42M but the remaining value is the equivalent of him *signing* a $49M/year contract at that point. If we compare that to Wilson in 2019, that's a ~6% growth rate over that period, which is consistent with the long-term cap growth in the NFL.

52 My bad, you're right. Maybe…

My bad, you're right. Maybe this helps me understand his mindset a little bit better. He gets an extension that averages about $39M/year from '22-'26, then $50M/year from 2027 on. He'll have some leverage to renegotiate before they agree to pick up his bonus that would produce a $60M cap number for '27, so the $50M/year figure would hopefully act as a floor for those talks. And in terms of guarantees, the structure seems to make it very likely that he'll be paid through 2025 even in case of disaster.

Still seems like he's giving up money and flexibility between now and 2025 or 2026, but I guess I can see what he's doing here.

75 Perhaps not so surprising....

Perhaps he is happy with lifetime security in an organization he feels comfortable with. This is likely going to work out well for both sides particularly since it makes the cap easier to manage when you know what your key player is going to be making and you aren't going to have to contend with that particular problem blowing up your cap management (not that there won't be others but they aren't going to be as large or as critical). Because of that the deal may also be one that might keep the Chiefs in contention for a long time; Mahomes is then continuing to prosper and his endorsement income will continue to rise just in case he wants to lock down another fortune.

3 So just to spitball some…

So just to spitball some numbers before any of the contract details come in, this is obviously going to beat Matt Ryan's $150M contact for largest value. It's probably heavier on the back-end in order to keep their window open as long as possible while still paying Chris Jones and the like, so I could see next year's cap number being a "modest" $35M. With the cap growing every year, I wouldn't be surprised if the last year on the deal is at least $65M (even that could still be pretty low...who knows how to project 10 years ahead). It'll probably never hit this with restructures and/or one last extension, but if that's the range then we're looking at a $450M contract (topping Mike Trout's $426.5M for biggest in all of sports) with a $50M/year average.

Worth it? If he doesn't suddenly turn out to be a two-year anomaly, then absolutely.

ETA: I didn't see Vince's number at the bottom before doing this. Since I matched what he said, I'm saying over.

5 I would be remiss not to…

I would be remiss not to point out that there is some downside risk for the chiefs here. First, this isn't like signing Tom Brady or Drew Brees to a 10-year contract in 2006. Those players in addition to being great players know how to mitigate the worst injury chances. Not to suggest Patrick Mahomes is injury-prone, but his style is going to bring a higher probability of injury than the other two would. 

 

The other point of mild skepticism, for as great as he's been, there's still some lingering uncertainty of how good of a player he is in a vacuum. He has Andy Reid to go along with the most talented offense in the league. We might have a different opinion of Mahomes once that talent begins to ebb. 

65 The injury point is…

The injury point is pertinent. Trying to speculate on the "injury proneness" of a player is largely futile, but Mahomes does play in a fearless manner which could easily catch up to him. I've often watched and winced as he has taken awkward, possibly unnecessary hits whilst launching a huge downfield throw, or scrambling to the sideline. The Chiefs were very lucky last season that his various injuries did not sideline him for longer, and even then the games they lost him from him ought to have cost them home-field advantage through the playoffs had the Patriots and Ravens not shit the bed at certain moments. 

This is the next challenge in his development; can he modify his style to free-wheel just a little less and ensure a long career, whilst maintaining his uber-productivity? Ruseell Wilson is the gold standard here. The most phenomenal aspect of his play IMO is his simultaneous ability to improvise whilst avoiding serious contact. His durability is truly remarkable.

66 I regard Russell Wilson as a…

I regard Russell Wilson as a ridiculous outlier and not someone you can try and emulate.

 

Mahomes at this moment is beating everyone with his tremendous physicality. He is like a mutant hybrid of Favre and Rodgers. He will eventually need to adapt himself to more of the prototypical pocket passer. 

67 pocket Mahomes

 I agree that injury avoidance issue is really important. He's clearly much less of an injury risk long-term than, say,  Lamar Jackson, but no Chiefs fan wants to see him take hits year in and year out.

 Some of what happened last year is scheme imho. Eric Fisher was hurt at the start of last year and they had no real RB threat, so Andy had to do some outlandish stuff to slow down the pass rush. I suspect Mahomes' injury might have been avoided if Fisher was healthy. Similarly, in the SB Mahomes was running for his life for 3+ quarters. If they'd had a decent running game maybe that could have been avoided.

 The good news is he's the face of the NFL now so he's going to get those super-friendly roughing calls Tom Brady has gotten for 20 years. But he definitely needs to learn how to slide.

6 Here's apparently what we've…

Here's apparently what we've been waiting for: https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1280245527955812354

10 years, $450M, and sounds like it's a conventional type of extension.

If that's the case, I don't think Mahomes is really buying much security by signing for 10 years... once the prorated bonus money is gone, which it would have to be after year 5, he's basically just going to be playing on team options. I would think that he would have to be really, really worried about where the salary cap might be around 2025-2027 for it to make sense for him to do this rather than just sign a 4-6 year extension and renegotiate then.

That said, still pretty wild to see him signing a contract that is not only worth more on paper than the combined career earnings of any other player in the history of the league to date, but by a margin of almost **$200 million!**

8 Maybe if you anticipate that…

Maybe if you anticipate that cap could be stagnant or even depressed through, like, 2023, and that in turn depresses the value of the franchise tag over that time, that would give KC a little more leverage here to ask Mahomes to agree to more of those "option years" in the back half in exchange for what is still obviously a truckload of money.

7 I've learned that trying tp…

I've learned that trying tp evaluate these contracts is a waste of time unless you actually are informed of all their provisions.

30 Will, Just to give you an…

Will,

Just to give you an update on the Christian Ponder Super Bowl project.  I just finished the regular season at 15-1, with a 128-3 destruction of the Packers' playoff hopes.  Of course I played it at the rookie level, just to be a jerk to Aaron Rogers.  Seeing his face at the end of the game was awesome.  I played 10 games at the All-Pro level, 4 games at the Rookie level, and 2 games at the highest level, All-Madden.  Only the Bears beat me, 30-17, at home in a blizzard at the All-Pro level.  I beat them at home at the All-Madden level, which surprised me a lot.  So I may have a chance in the playoffs, playing every game at the All-Madden level.

Here are the final regular season stats:

Christian Ponder: 5,211 yards.  51 TD.  45 Int.  58% comp. rate.  10.0 YPA. Just missed the 50/50 club.

Adrian Peterson: 2,852 yds,  6.7 avg.      51 receptions, 913 yds

Toby Gerhart:      847 yds.   6.9 avg

Jerome Simpson:   87 catches, 1,536 yds

Percy Harvin:         86 catches, 1,742 yds

Brian Robison:       42 sacks,  56 TFL

Jared Allen:           9 sacks,    25 TFL

Kevin Williams:     13 sacks,  24 TFL

Zack Bowman:      6 Ints

Two tied with 5 ints, and Chad Greenway and Antoine Winfield had 4 each.  Only had 36 interceptions on the season, a lot less than my Jets teams would get.  As I said earlier, I think the secondary is a bigger weakness than Ponder.

 

50 Basically, I am using Ponder…

Basically, I am using Ponder as Daryle Lamonica, lots of bombs, which turn into long completions/tds or armpunts.  That Vikings team would be so much better with a strong armed quarterback.  You put my imaginary Jets hero, Kody Arias on that team and their offense is unstoppable.  As it is, we have the number 1 offense in the league (the defense is 5), as far as yards.

Your tank mode team also probably didn't keep getting the ball back from the defense.   Ponder is getting lots of opportunities.  I fully expect him to blow it in the playoffs.

53 I fully expect him to blow…

I fully expect him to blow it in the playoffs.

Well yeah, wearing that uniform.

 

Mind you, that tank offense did get a lot of opportunities, because the stoppability of their offense was matched only by the vincibility of their defense.

57 So I just played the…

So I just played the divisional round game against the Falcons, and .... yeah, I blew it.  I won't blame Ponder, because the big play was me hitting the wrong button and Ponder just standing there, not throwing it, until he gets hit, fumbles, and it's returned for a touchdown, tying the game up just before halftime.  I was driving for at least a field goal, to go up 10 points.  My wife went back to her office, the second half was that bad.... until a final desperate attempt to come back failed when a Matt Ryan third down hail mary went through my defender fingertips into the sure hands of Roddy White, sealing the game with 30 seconds left.  Final score: 41-38.  Matt Ponder went 23 of 36 for 473 yards, for 4 TDs and 1 int, which was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.  Matt Ryan went 20 of 33 for 335 yards, no TDs and 1 int.  The Falcons did convert 14 of 20 3rd down attempts.  So my secondary blew it, not Ponder.  Michael Turner had 152 yards to Peterson's 125.  Man, am I angry and frustrated.  First time I've lost in the playoffs in a while.

11 Reportedly total value of…

Reportedly total value of over $500mil with $477mil in guarantees and a no-trade clause.

https://twitter.com/SteinbergSports/status/1280264195431297024

12 That's an absurd amount of…

That's an absurd amount of guaranteed money. Over 90% of the contract is guaranteed. If that's true and there are no injury protections(something Mahomes should absolutely not want to have); then this deal is not good for the Chiefs. Carries huge down side risk. 

14 That's just agent speak - if…

That's just agent speak - if the money was fully guaranteed, they wouldn't use a qualifier like "mechanism" in the press release. Looks like the flow of information has kind of stopped for now, but it's likely just referring to points where the Chiefs will have to commit to paying him ("guaranteeing") his salary for upcoming/future seasons at a certain calendar date. Aka rolling guarantees, roster bonuses, team options...

15 Aha, Vince posted the first…

Aha, Vince posted the first Pelissero tweet that shows the yearly cash flows, and then here's his follow up that shows the vesting dates for the roster bonuses:

https://twitter.com/TomPelissero/status/1280295866901901312

So it looks to me like from 2021-2023 the Chiefs have to effectively guarantee his salary 3 years out each offseason (three including the upcoming season), then from 2024-2029 they have to guarantee his salary two years out, and then in 2030-31 they're just going year-to-year. I still don't know if I see the value in going this long for Mahomes, but I guess it's a little bit better than truly going year-to-year.

17 This may be an impossible…

This may be an impossible question to answer, but I am hoping this contract gives an insight into just how far teams are willing to devote cap resources to the qb position. Mahomes is young and already producing like an inner sanctum qb. If Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were in their primes and ready to sign, I am not sure they'd fetch that much more(if at all); so basically this should be the ultimate ceiling price for a single player.

The problem in answering the question is teams will undoubtedly spread the hit over multiple years and play cap gymnastics along the way; so maybe the best way to do it is to take the median cap hit year and compare it to the salary cap at the time?

As a very very crude calculation - I looked at Manning when he signed his record breaking deal in 04 coming off an MVP and Rodgers a few years ago. Manning's median salary year as a percentage of the cap was about 10%. Rodgers' was 16%. Not as big as I thought but not insignificant. I frankly don't think a QB will exceed beyond 25% of the cap. That would probably be prohibitive to winning. 

18 It looks like the Chiefs…

It looks like the Chiefs will wind up paying Mahomes about $45M per year if they keep him for the whole contract, and about $50M per year if they move on from him early (any time after the 2024 season). This is treating it as a 10-year extension beginning in 2022, and not including the bonuses (which are probably worth about $1M per year).

There's a fair amount of uncertainty in what the cap will do, but as a rough guess it looks like about 16% of the cap for 2022-31 if he plays out the whole contract. More like 20% if they move on from him early (the earlier they move on the more it is).

25 Barnwell had a nice summary…

Barnwell had a nice summary about the deal. It turns out, its more Chief's friendly than it appears. The contract is heavily backloaded and undoubtedly will get renegotiated as Mahomes will trade those backloaded years for a contract that reflects present value dollars. So in reality, the tradeoff came down to injury protections(which they have insurance for) in exchange for a lower cap figure in the first half of the contract. Good for them.

This deal reminds me of the one Flacco signed after his sb win. That one was also heavily backloaded and the thought was they would renegotiate at that time. Unlike hopefully with Mahomes, Flacco became a disaster and the renegotiation essentially forestalled the Ravens ditching of Flacco. They got lucky that the Broncos helped them absorb some of the pain of that salary(Thanks Elway).  

26 Eh, by 2023 the dead money…

Eh, by 2023 the dead money is down to 4 million bucks, so if Mahomes ceases to be a good bet to be a top 2 or 3 performer by then, or any time thereafter, they can part ways pretty easily, and his cap numbers for next 3 years are only about 5, 24, and 31 million.

This is a great deal for the Chiefs.

28 Mahomes gets a little more…

Mahomes gets a little more protection than this - his future roster bonuses become guaranteed a couple of seasons before they are actually paid, which will create future dead money that isn't currently there on paper. So if the Chiefs want to cut Mahomes, it looks to me like they'll still be on the hook for his entire salary for either two additional seasons (before 2024) or one additional season (after 2024).

l really don't think that amount of protection is worth the short- and medium-term money he seems to be leaving on the table compared to what I think he could have gotten if he focused on a shorter extension. The first 3 years in particular are very accommodating of KC's cap situation. I'm sure he's very happy there right now, but Andy Reid probably isn't going to be around too much longer and who knows what kind of organizational changes are in store.

34 Yeah, I think you are right;…

Yeah, I think you are right; parting ways in next 5 years is painful, but diminished, I think, after 3. Still seems like a bargain, given the low cap hit through 2022 season. Looks like Mahomes calculated that his cost of living in K.C. is pretty low, and there is real value in having talented veteran teammates.

32 Yes, Mahommes left some…

Yes, Mahommes left some money on the table.  So the Chiefs can spend it on other players important to their goals.  I think the rest of the AFC West is going to start feeling the pain the non-Patriots part of the AFC East felt the last ten years.

51 You're right, it was 20.  As…

You're right, it was 20.  I had to minimize it as a Jets fan somehow.  As far as the other comment, Ravens aren't in that division.  It's about the teams in the division having no hope to make the playoffs except as a wildcard, and therefore driving them to do insane things... like hire John Idzik, Adam Gase, keep firing coaches after 3 years, etc.

61 Vikings and Bears did a…

Vikings and Bears did a decent job of reacting to pretty frequent HOF quarterbacking in a divisional foe for about 25 years. Helped that the Packers kinda' botched coaching hires between Holmgren and McCarthy. Belichik has been the real grief-eater in the AFC East.

45 I don't know if the contract…

I don't know if the contract is better for the team or for the player, but it's great for the league and for the fans. I hate the idea of a LeBron-type of superstar in the NFL, going from town to town without making a home anywhere.

58 Do you mean Durant-type of…

Do you mean Durant-type of superstar? :) Or on a similar note you could even throw in Steph Curry, who essentially pulled an Eli Manning because his dad didn't want him to have to live in Minnesota. 

Elite players, particularly at QB, barely end up changing teams in the NFL anyway while they're still elite, barring unusual circumstances like P. Manning 2012, even if they typically don't do 10-year contracts.

I am glad for KC and for Mahomes, but LeBron is also damn near the only NBA superstar ever to move from a more glamorous market to a less glamorous one as a unrestricted FA in his prime, which makes him hard to put in the same category as most NBA UFAs - where small markets that draft them are often farm systems for bigger markets.

 

And with LeBron, you know, 1st Cleveland championship in 52 years and all that.

63 There is a big difference…

There is a big difference between the nba and the nfl - its called the max salary slot. Cleveland could never offer Lebron a 10 year deal or a 12 year deal or whatever. A team can only offer the max which offers one additional year + 10 mil over a rival free agent team which can offer 4. 

This is what is lost with the NBA. Want to stop superstars from leaving small markets? Get rid of the max contract in the nba. But then that would hurt the NBA's middle class. 

72 I admit I haven't watched…

I admit I haven't watched the NBA since Tim Duncan's halcyon days, so whichever one fits best. I suppose as long as there's a franchise tag QB superstar mobility will never actually be a thing, anyway.

73 No worries.  Just that I…

No worries.  Just that I still love LeBron and see him unfairly maligned in some cases.  I didn't realize you weren't well-versed in specific NBA situations.

Tim Duncan is. in fact, a great comparison to Mahomes here.

The list of #1 NBA picks who win titles with the team that drafts them is astonishingly short, and reinforces the "when you get them, you're just developing them so they can win somewhere else in their prime" comment I noted. Duncan - and his sidekick Adm. Robinson, LeBron - after a brief adventure in Miami, Kyrie, Olajuwan, Magic, and Worthy are about the extent of the list, and the last two played in LA, a market that has basically every advantage to lead them to stay.

Doesn't get much better when you get just outside the top pick, i.e. Durant went outside OKC to win.

The "but the team had 7 years to build a team around him!" argument that we often hear, falls short when, if your top player even turns out to be a true superstar, and not a faux-superstar who you "have" to pay to keep, but won't lead you to a title, i.e. Rudy Gobert, John Wall, Damien Lillard, you still have to hit on picks that will likely no longer be high because your star wins some more games.  Moreover, even the best players often spend their early years as only marginal overall positives, and net defensive negatives; their prime is right when they hit UFA.

Not a lot of good solutions to that - the NBPA would probably never do a hard cap or franchise tag - but it makes the exceptions like the Spurs of course, LeBron coming back to the 2016 Cavs, the 04 Pistons winning without a true superstar but some good FAs/trades, Toronto rolling the dice on Kawhi and doing some other mostly smart drafts/trades, etc all the much sweeter.

74 Ive mentioned this here and…

Ive mentioned this here and in other places. Get rid of the max salary and institute a punitive hardcap and you won't have superstars leaving to team up without significant salary sacrifices.

I am someone who didn't see Jordan, but Lebron is the second best sports figure I've ever seen(behind Serena). And yet, his second stint with the Cavs and then behavior with the Lakers made me ultimately dislike him.

77 he "but the team had 7 years…

he "but the team had 7 years to build a team around him!" argument that we often hear, falls short when, if your top player even turns out to be a true superstar, and not a faux-superstar who you "have" to pay to keep, but won't lead you to a title, i.e. Rudy Gobert, John Wall, Damien Lillard

No one wins in isolation. LeBron and Wilt probably came closest -- LeBron dragged a .500 team to the Finals. But even Wilt's two best early teams had Tom Gola (61-62) or Nate Thurmond (63-64). His 66-67 Philly team had three other HOFers.

The last single guy to take his team to a title was Dolph Schayes, in 1954-1955, who beat another one-man team in George Yardley's Fort Wayne Pistons. Schayes outscored Yardley by three points a game, which accounted for the difference in a 7-game series where no game was won by more than 7 points and three were within 3 points.

Even Michael Jordan never broke .500 in a season played without Scottie Pippen.

55 Mahomes' contract is basically salary cap fraud

As a Chiefs fan, I am amazed by this contract. We already got our rookie-QB title, so I was okay with our window closing a little if it meant Mahomes got paid. I had no idea they would be able to cram that window open for another 3-4 years by so thoroughly jobbing the salary cap.

   The big issue with extending Mahomes was always the immediate cap hit. No one cares about charges that will be incurred in 5 years. The cap will be like like a bajillion dollars then anyway, so spending $2 in 2025 to save $1 in 2020 makes perfect sense, especially if you're hoping to sign Chris Jones next week.

  By structuring the contract this way, the Chiefs managed to make a huge, ~$100 million commitment to Mahomes while incurring almost no immediate cap hit. Normally, you have to start amortizing guaranteed money over the life of the contract immediately. But by adding a new chunk of guaranteed money every year, they've managed to give Mahomes enormous security while pushing every bit of cap charge back until the last possible moment. They also structured the contract in such a way that it will almost certainly need to be renegotiated some time around 2025, so Mahomes has no reason to fear getting left behind by the new TV deal.  

   Imho, these "guarantee mechanisms" will either become the new gold standard or will be outlawed in the next CBA. As with Mahomes himself, it seems really unfair that only one team gets access to them, though I'm glad that team is the Chiefs.  :)

64 yea but

First, let's all hope that doesn't happen.

But if there are multiple years of no fans, my guess is the league will find a way to screw all players equally while  clawing back large sums of money them. They're already trying with this whole escrow thing. 

80 Looks like a win-win to me

This seems like a reasonable deal for the Chiefs, who are better positioned than anyone to gauge what Mahomes's future trajectory looks like. And it's difficult for me to believe that the largest contract in NFL history, by far, is somehow a bad deal for Mahomes.

1. The amount that is fully guaranteed no matter what is $141M according to Spotrac. That seems in the range of what he could expect if he signed a 3-year fully guaranteed extension. Realistically, the only way his earnings will be that low is if he suffers a career-ending injury.

2. Let's say that he has bad injury luck and it doesn't force him out of the league, but it does suppress his production in the next few years and keep him out of a ton of games. IMHO, he's far better off with the deal he's got than if he signed a 3 year deal at $50M/per and then tore both ACLs or something. Assuming he can physically play and wants to, he will always have a place in the league, but look at what Cam Newton had to settle for this year (granted, it might have been somewhat higher if COVID hadn't prevented teams from examining him). I feel like everyone saying he should have signed a much shorter, fully-guaranteed deal is ignoring the real possibility that he may never be able to command this much again.

3. While it's true that only a fraction of the $450M is truly guaranteed, this is not a contract that the Chiefs will want to get out of unless Mahomes transmogrifies into Mitch Trubisky or something equally unlikely. It's just too expensive for them to do so until the last couple of years of the contract. Let's say he struggles with injury to some extent or just reverts from someone on track to be the best QB ever to the 8th best QB in the league. It'll be disappointing, but the Chiefs aren't going to cut him and eat $100M of dead cap space. Not unless the cap doubles by then.

4. Which leads me to my last point. The assumption that the cap is definitely going to continue to increase by a lot every year is a bit insane to me. Even before COVID, there were growing signs of a TV revenue bubble. Now, we don't even know if there will be a 2020 season, and having seasons that resemble normal ones in 2021 and going forward seem dependent on a vaccine. Even assuming a vaccine, is the overall economy going to recover enough in the next few years to keep NFL revenues growing? I'm not predicting that the NFL is going to run out of money or anything, but everyone seems to think it's a foregone conclusion that the cap will be $300M by the middle of Mahomes's contract, and I'm not so sure.