The Kansas City Chiefs, winners of six straight division titles and host of four consecutive AFC Championship games, are also the proud owners of the NFL’s biggest bargain. That bargain, of course, can be found in their $500 million quarterback. How can the largest contract in NFL history be seen as a bargain?
In the most simple sense, Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL but now makes the third-highest average salary among NFL quarterbacks. Following their extensions, Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson both make more per season than Mahomes. With more extensions on the horizon for top-tier quarterbacks, the bargain will only become more so.
What makes the contract such a great deal for the Chiefs?
Chiefs QB Mahomes Is The Best But Is No Longer Paid As Such
First, it’s important to quantify that Patrick Mahomes is without question the best quarterback in the NFL. The stats back it up. Since 2018, he leads the entire NFL in Expected Points Added per Play (EPA/Play). Mahomes’ mark of 0.296 EPA/play leads Drew Brees (0.275), Aaron Rodgers (0.215), and Tom Brady (0.191). In that span, the gap between Mahomes and Tom Brady is the same as the gap between Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
If expanding the search criteria to include all quarterbacks since 2000, Mahomes still ranks first by a sizeable margin. A “down year” last season saw him rank third in the entire NFL. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the entire NFL.
At the time of his extension in 2020, the doubters all said that the extension would “haunt” the Chiefs and limit their ability to put a team around him. Since that time, Aaron Rodgers has agreed to a three-year, $150.8 million extension. The contract pays him $50 million per year, well exceeding the Mahomes mark of $45 million per year.
Then, in March 2022, Deshaun Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns and quickly extended on a five-year $230 million contract. Not only is the contract fully guaranteed, but also pays Watson $46 million per year. The mark also exceeds the Mahomes mark of $45 million.
Just two years removed from signing the largest contract in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes is now just the third-highest paid quarterback in the entire league.
With More Extensions Ahead, Chiefs Bargain Will Only Grow
Not only have two quarterbacks already surpassed the Mahomes contract in annual value. There are also more on the rise. Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray, and Joe Burrow will all be due for contract extensions over the coming seasons.
Following his trade to the Broncos, extension talks have already begun for Wilson:
BREAKING: Russell Wilson seeks 5-year, $250M extension with the Denver #Broncos — Stadium Rant (@StadiumRantHQ) June 4, 2022
A five-year, $250 million contract extension would pay Wilson an average of $50 million per year. At 33-years-old, a deal that massive for Wilson would certainly raise the bill for the likes of Jackson and Burrow. Jackson, who enters his age-25 season this year, stands to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. At just 26-years-old, Jackson stands to bring a king’s ransom. His extension could top the $50 million mark set by much older quarterbacks in Rodgers and (if rumors are true) Wilson.
This extension for Jackson would only add fuel to the fire for “more complete” gunslingers such as Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow. Jackson, as great as he’s been on the field, does not have any postseason success. He’s never seen a Super Bowl. Burrow, although he lost, at least has a Super Bowl appearance to his name.
Once this next wave of quarterbacks receives their second contracts, the Mahomes extension will be an even greater bargain for the Chiefs. Perhaps no position in all sports gives a greater advantage than that of a franchise quarterback. Not only do the Chiefs have the very best franchise quarterback; they have him on what will soon become not even a top-five quarterback contract in the NFL. This combination makes his contract the largest bargain in the entire NFL.
Do you agree that the Patrick Mahomes contract is the biggest bargain in the NFL? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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