KANSAS CITY -- Patrick Mahomes has always been content in his contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, and confident the team that drafted him in the first round in 2017 and helped him become one of the NFL’s biggest stars would always take care of him.
They did that again Monday.
The Chiefs agreed with the reigning league MVP on a restructuring of his 10-year, $450-million contract that gives Mahomes a big boost in pay during the next four seasons, two people familiar with the deal said. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the contract.
The revised agreement pushes some of the money Mahomes was scheduled to make going forward to the next four years, and the $210.6 million during that span represents the most in NFL history. Mahomes is due to make $56.85 million this season, $44.5 million next season, $50 million in 2025 and $56.76 million for the 2026 season.
At that point, the Chiefs and Mahomes -- who celebrated his 28th birthday Sunday with a 17-9 win in Jacksonville -- are expected to revisit his contract, which ties him to the franchise through 2031.
“I know how special it is here and I know how special of a thing we’ve got going,” Mahomes said recently. “I stay out of contract stuff, but I know I’m lucky to be in this place and I want to go out and win as many championships as I can.”
Mahomes set the market with his original extension with Kansas City, which remains the largest overall deal in the NFL. But several quarterbacks had since passed him in average annual value, which naturally put Mahomes’ deal back in the spotlight.
The rapidly inflating QB contracts began with Deshaun Watson’s $230 million deal with Cleveland last year. Jalen Hurts then agreed to a $255-million contract with the Eagles, the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson signed a five-year, $260-million extension, and the Chargers Justin Herbert reached a five-year, $262.5-million extension with the AFC West-rival Chargers.
Then, just more than a week ago, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow -- one of Mahomes’ burgeoning rivals -- signed a five-year, $275-million contract making him the NFL’s highest-paid player on an annual basis at $55 million per year.
“Me, my agent and the team always keep open communication,” Mahomes said during the offseason. “We try to do whatever is the best for the team but obviously I want to do the best for myself as well. But at the same time, I’ve always said, ‘I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment.’ But I know we keep communication.
“We see what’s going on around the league,” he added, “but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players that around me. So, it’s kind of teetering around that line.”
The Chiefs were waiting to see how the market for Herbert and Burrow would develop before reworking Mahomes’ deal. They also needed to reach an agreement with All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, who held out through Week 1, so they would know where they stood relative to the salary cap this season and beyond.
Jones agreed last week to a reworked one-year deal that got him back on the field for Sunday’s game in Jacksonville.
Mahomes was asked regularly about Jones during his holdout, and that in turn led to questions about his own contract. And the perpetually poised Mahomes insisted he would rather have a fair deal that gave Kansas City financial flexibility to surround him with good players -- and win more than the two Super Bowl titles on his resume -- than be the league’s highest-paid player.
Mahomes is coming off perhaps the best season of his career, throwing for a franchise-record 5,250 yards along with a league-leading 41 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions. He also proved his toughness once more in the playoffs, when he hurt his ankle in the divisional round against the Jaguars but the led the Chiefs all the way to the Super Bowl.
Mahomes aggravated it against the Eagles but still rallied his team in the second half to raise his second Lombardi Trophy.
The ties binding Mahomes to Kansas City have grown substantially through the years. He has an ownership stake in the Kansas City Royals, who play just across the parking lot from Arrowhead Stadium, along with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer, and his wife Brittany has an ownership share of the Kansas City Current, the professional women’s soccer team.
“Well, I don’t know that there’s really a way to quantify it,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said, when asked earlier this year of Mahomes’ value to Kansas City. “No matter what he makes over his career, I’m sure one way or another, he will be underpaid.”