Patrick Mahomes said a balance between his long-term security and the flexibility to keep great team-mates around him was behind his 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs announced on Monday that they had signed quarterback Mahomes to an extension worth up to $503million, the richest contract in sports history.
It comes after a remarkable start to Mahomes’ career in the NFL, which saw him win the league MVP award in 2018 and named Super Bowl MVP last season as the Chiefs fought back to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20.
Despite the eye-watering numbers, the contract does not destroy the Chiefs in terms of the salary cap.
Mahomes, who had two years left on his rookie contract, will be tied to the Chiefs for the next 12 seasons but will count just $5.3million against the cap in 2020 and $24.8m in 2021.
It is not until the final five years of his deal that the most exorbitant cap hits will take effect, and it is his Chiefs team-mates who stand to benefit.
The relatively light price the Chiefs will pay for Mahomes in the short term could allow them to sign franchise-tagged defensive tackle Chris Jones to a long-term deal, while safety Tyrann Mathieu, tight end Travis Kelce and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz are all candidates for extensions.
“I went in there with an open mind,” Mahomes told a news conference of the negotiations.
“I wanted to keep great players around me and reward them for being great players. When the concept came to me I loved the idea, we were able to do it the right way.
“Having Brett Veach, a young general manager who’s done a great job of putting great players around me was a boost of confidence of signing this long-term extension.
“Having a 10-year contract, I just wanted to have the security of knowing I’m going to be a Kansas City Chief for a long time and at the same time we did a good job of having enough money to pay the guys around me.
“We’re going to be a good football team for a long time.”
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