Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had quite the 28th birthday celebration.
On the exact date of his Sept. 17 birthday, he defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-9. And on the very the next day, he received a substantial raise.
It’s not an extension, but the Chiefs have restructured his $450 million contract, which goes through 2031, so that more money is guaranteed and up front.
He now will receive $210.6 million between 2023 and 2026 — the most money in NFL history over a four-season span — and his compensation for those years is now guaranteed.
“I got a little more money up front,” Mahomes said. “You get that security. I already had it, but just to get a little and then be able to go out there and just play football, I’m excited for it.”
The Chiefs and Mahomes plan to re-visit his contract again after the 2026 season.
“We’ll kind of redo it and renegotiate it whenever we get to that mark that we talked about,” he said. “It’s a special place and a special relationship that I have with the team to be able to trust them to be able to.”
This raise was necessitated by the lofty contracts given to quarterbacks of late, including Joe Burrow’s record-setting deal.
After the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback’s recent five-year, $275 million extension, which includes $219 million guaranteed and averages $55 million per season, Mahomes dropped to eighth among quarterbacks in average annual salary — $45 million — with nine more years remaining on the contract he signed in 2020.
Mahomes was cognizant of that. He not only wanted keep pace for personal reasons, but also to help the future contracts of other quarterbacks around the league.
“You’ve got to keep the bar going,” Mahomes said. “I don’t want people to be negotiated against me. That’s the reason you do something like I did, just to try to keep the market moving in the right direction.”
The revised contract now places the reigning MVP back near the top while also giving the Chiefs flexibility to sign and retain other players.
“Keep a lot of great dudes around me and keep cap space for other guys to get signed as well,” Mahomes said. “That’ll be something I do throughout my entire career to try to obviously make money for myself and my family but keep a lot of great players around me as well.”
Mahomes is the face of the NFL and has made a strong case as the league’s best quarterback and best player.
He has two regular-season MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs. Every year he’s been a starter, his Chiefs team has won the division and hosted the AFC Championship Game.
He, however, has gotten off to a slow start this year by his lofty standards, completing 62.5% of passes for 531 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. His average per attempt is just 6.6 yards — well below his career average of 8.1.
As he tries to return to form while throwing to an inexperienced wide receiver group, does the restructured contract add more pressure?
“I always feel like I’m under pressure to go out there and succeed,” he said. “I feel like that’s the standard that I have on myself.”
His head coach, Andy Reid, said he was happy for Mahomes and praised Mahomes’ agents and Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and owner Clark Hunt for negotiating the deal.
Mahomes emphasized his appreciation for them as well.
“I’m in a great spot,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of great people around me, very thankful to the Hunt family and to the Chiefs organization and glad that I can just go out there and play football.”