Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes has made history by signing a 10-year deal thought to be worth over $500 million. His salary will be a breath-taking $45 million per year, which means he overtakes the previous highest earner, Russell Wilson, who signed with Seahawks for $35 million per year in 2019.
Although it came as no surprise that the Chiefs player would receive an offer which would make him the highest-paid player in the NFL, no one would have placed an Indibet on the magnitude of the offer. Deals of this monetary scale would usually be shorter, not the staggering 10-year deal received by Mahomes.
The longest contract before this was a five-year extension received by Matt Ryan, who signed for the Falcons in 2018.
The compensation received by Mahomes consists of a high proportion of March roster bonuses. With his 2027 compensation for instance, he will receive a $10 million base salary, plus $49.4 million roster bonus and $550,000 workout bonus.
The structure of his contract means that annual roster bonuses feature early, which also means that it would be difficult to release Mahomes without receiving a hefty financial penalty. Another aspect of his contract is the ‘no-trade clause’, which means that the Chiefs would not be able to move him to another team unless he gives permission.
Although the contract may seem like something out of the ordinary, there is a twist in the tail. If Mahomes had remained in his rookie contract, he would have only received $6 million less, but without having to sign up to a long deal. Other quarterbacks, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, who signed with the Rams and Eagles, respectively, in 2019 seem to have better deals, with Goff receiving $30 million more over the last two years of the contract and Wentz with $29.6 more. This is even though Mahomes is giving ten years, while Goff and Wentz are only committing to four.
Mahomes clearly wasn’t focused on maximizing his income, but rather securing a long deal which would be difficult for the Chiefs to break. This is common for NFL players, especially on veteran contracts.
It makes you wonder who might be next. Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson are the only two quarterbacks who remain on rookie contracts. It is thought that Watson is looking for a shorter contract of three years. Mahomes is unlikely to rebuke the trend of players looking for short term contracts with the ability to maximize their earnings. Mahomes is an extremely rare talent who is on the right path to becoming one of the all-time greats. He has the foresight to know that it’s not all about the compensation – as healthy as his is. It’s about playing at the highest level, winning Super Bowls, and showing his distinction. It’s a win-win situation for Mahomes and the Chiefs. Mahomes gets fairly compensated and has the security of a long contract, while the Chiefs are in the driving seat.