Only one athlete can own the biggest contract in American sports history — Boardroom takes a look at the details of the Chiefs’ colossal Patrick Mahomes contract.
Very few players have ever experienced NFL success as quickly as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In five seasons, including the last four as a starter, Mahomes has played in the AFC Championship every year, advancing to the Super Bowl twice and winning once.
At 26, Mahomes is already one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL — which is why the Chiefs chose to reward him in 2020 with a record-setting extension: a 10-year, $450 million contract that officially kicks in starting with the upcoming season and lasts through the 2031 campaign.
Mahomes has proven an ability to play the QB position in ways that no one else can — or perhaps ever has — and as a result, the Chiefs naturally have absolutely zero interest in watching him wear any other uniform. With that in mind, let’s dive into the details of KC’s groundbreaking Patrick Mahomes contract.
Patrick Mahomes Contract Details & Salary
Total value: $450,000,000
Average annual value: $45,000,000
Guaranteed at signing: $63,081,905
Total guaranteed money: $141,481,905
Free agency: 2032
Notably, the max value of Mahomes’ extension was first reported as $503 million, but reaching that number would require satisfying several incentives year after year that are considered unlikely, including winning the AFC title and NFL MVP.
On Sept. 18, 2023, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report a restructured Mahomes contract that pays the player $210.6 guaranteed through the 2026 season, an average of $52.65 million over those years and the highest salary number over a four-season period in league history to date:
The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes have restructured his agreement, giving him $210.6 million between 2023 and 2026, the most money in NFL history over a four season span. His compensation for those years is now guaranteed. Also, the Chiefs and Mahomes plan to re-visit the agreement… pic.twitter.com/7a2vlt9Si2— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2023
As insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero subsequently reported, bonuses and incentives can escalate the total value of the four restructured years to $218.1 million through 2026. Before this deal was reached, Mahomes entered the 2023 NFL season ranked just No. 8 on the list of highest-paid quarterbacks:
2023 contract restructure earnings:
- 2023: $59,350,000
- 2024: $44,500,000
- 2025: $50,000,000
- 2026: $56,750,000
Estimated extension earnings following restructured years:
- 2027: $52,900,000
- 2028: $27,175,000
- 2029: $34,975,000
- 2030: $45,525,000
- 2031: $48,375,000
This deal keeps Mahomes under contract through his age-36 season, and given his highly productive career so far and the fact that other elite quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are at or near the peak of their games into their late 30s and even 40s, the Chiefs have little reason to believe they won’t ultimately get their money’s worth.
That said, there are two interesting questions the franchise will need to contend with:
- First, can the Kansas City Chiefs continue to form a contending roster around him as his cap hit of no less than $44 million for the final nine years of the deal?
- Will the salary cap continue to increase enough for the Chiefs to have the flexibility they need to remain Super Bowl contenders? The contract has a no-trade clause, robust guarantees, and roster bonuses nearly every year, so the KC front office will sincerely hope that league revenues continue to drive the cap skyward.
Patrick Mahomes’ Career Earnings
CAREER BASE SALARY: $3,480,000
CAREER BONUSES/INCENTIVES: $43,974,472
NFL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2021: $47,454,472
ESTIMATED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2032 SEASON: $491,454,472
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