It’s easy to get carried away by star players in a sport that relies as much on marketable personalities as any other. However, the hype that surrounded Patrick Mahomes throughout 2019 has been ratcheted to new levels in 2020 after he yielded an MVP award and Super Bowl ring last season. The exciting thing for Chiefs fans is that he is only 24 years old and has been given a ten-year extension worth $503 million.
How will Mahomes’ contract impact the Chiefs?
There are clear pros and cons to such a contract. The obvious positive is the assurance of elite talent in the most important position for an unbelievably long time. The negative is that there is less money to spend on the rest of the roster, and an injury to Mahomes could undo years of endeavor and see the Chiefs’ stock plummet almost overnight. Naturally, while securing a great QB is the priority, the Chiefs will now need to be very careful where they spend the rest of the cap.
What sort of precedent does this contract create?
Contracts in the NFL for quarterbacks are becoming astronomical, but the Mahomes deal takes that to the next level. It does so with some justification, as without Mahomes, it would be far more difficult to justify the Chiefs’ continued presence as favorites in the latest online NFL betting markets to win the next Super Bowl.
As comparable case studies in terms of trend-setting, the contracts for Jimmy Garoppolo and Matthew Stafford were seen as huge gambles, but they seem insignificant in comparison.
Overall, the sport is likely to see more players than ever requesting long-term deals – as has been common in baseball for a long time. As such, it is safe to say that Mahomes’ impact on the NFL will end up being a lot more than just what he can do on the field.
Which of Mahomes’ teammates could outshine him?
While the quarterback is unquestionably the most important position on a successful team, no team can win anything on the strength of a QB alone, even if the intricacies of Mahomes’ contract are truly dazzling. While Mahomes is sure to have another stellar season in 2020, the sheer amount of talent in the Chiefs’ roster puts his MVP crown at risk of being stolen.
With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce has become the best tight end in the league, and even with the return of Gronk, Kelce will no doubt outshine every other player in the position in the near future. He set a record in 2019, after bagging his fourth consecutive season with 1,000+ yards. There is universal confidence that he will make it five such campaigns in a row.
While his production will largely rely on Mahomes’s continued MVP-quality form, Kelce could prove himself to once again be his most reliable target in a great offense. His all-round tight end game is exceptional, and if anyone can be the first-ever TE to win the MVP award, it is Kelce.
Hill is another diamond in the offense. Like Kelce, his production will rely on Mahomes being his supreme best, but that doesn’t mean he can’t outshine him. He was awesome in the playoffs and played a big part in the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl for the first time in fifty years.
He has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his four prior seasons with the Chiefs, and that will more than likely turn to five. On current form, few would be surprised to see Hill break his own franchise record for receiving yards.
Jones is the favorite to be named Defensive Player of the Year – and for good reason. A team can never succeed on their offense alone, and Jones is considered by some pundits to have a chance of being the first defensive league MVP winner since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
Simply put, quarterbacks hate playing against Jones, and he is one of the most feared players in the NFL. Furthermore – unlike Kelce and Hill – Jones doesn’t need Mahomes to thrive. If Mahomes has an unthinkable off-year, then it will up to players like Jones to ensure that the Chiefs can win successive rings.