Mahomes' unique talents make him worth giant price tag

By Sports Desk July 06, 2020

The Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes agreed to a record-setting 10-year contract extension worth over $500million on Monday.  

The deal will keep Mahomes, arguably the NFL's brightest young star, in Kansas City through the 2031 season. According to Spotrac, the contract is the richest ever both in terms of total value and average annual salary at a reported $503m – including $477m in guaranteed mechanisms.

Going forward, the Chiefs' front office will be tasked with surrounding the reigning Super Bowl MVP and 2018 NFL MVP with cheaper talent as Mahomes' average salary skyrockets.

While some pundits have questioned the ability of teams to win Super Bowls with a quarterback on a massive contract, the torrid start to Mahomes' career indicates he may be the exception.  

When the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in February, he became just the sixth quarterback in NFL history to be named league MVP, win a Super Bowl and be named Super Bowl MVP in a two-year span.  

All the other five quarterbacks to accomplish that feat – Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Steve Young and Kurt Warner – are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

Despite all that he has accomplished, Mahomes' career is still in its infancy with the former first-round pick set to turn 25 in his third full year as a starter in 2020.  

Mahomes' 9,412 passing yards, 76 touchdown passes and 108.9 passer rating are all the best in league history for a quarterback in his first 31 games. His 17 games of at least 300 passing yards are the second most through 31 games, trailing only Kurt Warner's 20.  

While Mahomes' numbers last season were not quite as gaudy as they were in his 50-touchdown 2018 campaign, an argument can be made that he improved in his second year as a full-time starter.  

The biggest concern teams had with him in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech was his aggressiveness leading to too many turnovers. While his 50 touchdowns in 2018 more than made up for the 12 interceptions he threw, Mahomes cut his interception total to just five last season. His 2019 interception rate of just over 1.0 percent is among the 10 lowest ever in a season with at least 25 touchdown passes.  

While head coach Andy Reid's system has proven to be the perfect incubator for Mahomes early in his career, last season he showed the ability to be productive despite some attrition around him.  

The departure of Kareem Hunt left a rotating stable of running backs in 2019 with no top-level producer emerging as the leader. Injuries to Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins led to Mahomes working with a variety of unexperienced receivers throughout the year. 

Mahomes himself suffered an injury that cost him two games, yet the Chiefs still finished the regular season 12-4 with a division title.  

But perhaps no ability makes Mahomes more unique – or worthy of a record-breaking contract – than his ability to score in bunches.  

Three times since becoming the Chiefs' starter, Mahomes has thrown at least three touchdowns in a single quarter, more than any other NFL quarterback since 2018. On September 15 last season, Mahomes threw four scores in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders, the first time that had been done in nearly five years.  

Mahomes threw for the first postseason four-touchdown quarter since 1988 in last season's playoffs when he helped Kansas City turn a 24-0 deficit into a 51-31 blowout win over the Houston Texans.  

He went on to throw two touchdown passes and led the Chiefs to 21 straight points in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, giving Kansas City their first Lombardi Trophy in 50 years.  

Fast-forward five months and Mahomes now has the richest contract in NFL history as his storybook career continues.  

Some will still argue that the price tag is too high – that history shows the Chiefs will struggle to field a balanced team around their superstar quarterback.  

But history has never seen a quarterback quite like Patrick Mahomes.  

Related items

  • Elliott takes the blame after Cardinals crush Cowboys: This one is on me Elliott takes the blame after Cardinals crush Cowboys: This one is on me

    Ezekiel Elliott issued an apology following the Dallas Cowboys' heavy loss to the Arizona Cardinals, admitting after two costly fumbles: "I need to be better".

    The Cardinals improved to 4-2 as they thrashed the Cowboys 38-10 in Texas, running all over their opponents as they amassed 261 total rushing yards in the one-sided contest on Monday.

    Dallas were without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Week 5 win over the New York Giants. The defeat drops them to 2-4 for the season, though they still remain top of the NFC East.

    Running back Elliott insisted the result was not down to Prescott's absence, instead pointing to his pair of fumbles in the first half as key moments. Having lost possession on back-to-back drives, he accepted responsibility for the result.

    "I don't think we can use that [Dak's absence] as an excuse," Elliott told the media.

    "I'm just going to keep saying it over and over - I started the game out with two fumbles, gave the ball away and gave them all the momentum they need to go take off.

    "I want to say I'm sorry and this one is on me. I need to be better."

    Both turnovers led to touchdowns for Arizona and, after Kenyan Drake put the Cardinals 14-0 up, Tony Pollard - not Elliott - was on duty at running back for the Cowboys.

    Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy made clear that despite the change during the game, Elliott remains the team's lead back.

    "Every player who plays in this league, and it's no different on our football team, if you don't take care of the football it obviously affects your opportunities," McCarthy said in his post-game media conference.

    "Tony got an opportunity, I thought he did some really good things. At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow and we need to get it right. He's part of the plan and he's going to be part of our success.

    "We need to get it right and take care of the football, that's for everyone who touches the football on our team."

    Elliott finished the game with 49 rushing yards on 12 attempts, while Pollard had 31 yards on 10 carries.

    The Cowboys are on the road in Week 7, taking on divisional rivals Washington.

  • Cardinals dominate Cowboys, Chiefs bounce back Cardinals dominate Cowboys, Chiefs bounce back
  • Mahomes happy with any Chiefs approach: I just want to win Mahomes happy with any Chiefs approach: I just want to win

    Patrick Mahomes is unfazed by what approach the Kansas City Chiefs take, saying he just wanted to win after beating the Buffalo Bills.

    Mahomes completed 21 of 26 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns in the 26-17 victory over the Bills on Monday.

    However, the Chiefs' running game was key as they rushed for 245 yards – with Clyde Edwards-Helaire accounting for most of those with 161 on 26 carries.

    Chiefs star Mahomes, who rushed for 36 yards, said he was happy to take any approach – as long as his team were winning.

    "It was definitely different. I had a few of those RPOs called and I had to tell myself not to throw it, just keep handing that thing off," the quarterback told a news conference.

    "Clyde was running well, O-line was blocking well, and I just want to win, I don't care how that's done – pass, run, defense, whatever that is.

    "We found a way to do that."

    Mahomes connected twice with Travis Kelce for touchdowns as the Chiefs improved to 5-1.

    The 2018 NFL MVP said the Bills' plan was why the Chiefs relied so heavily on their running game.

    "Obviously we had a few more pass plays called, we always do, but once we saw how deep their linebackers and safeties and corners were playing, we knew we had the run game" Mahomes said.

    "We really just stayed with it and if teams are going to play us like this you're going to see us running the football and we have the guys that can do it."

    AFC West leaders the Chiefs face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.