Less than three years after receiving the richest contract in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes now ranks seventh in average pay among quarterbacks.
But the Kansas City Chiefs star isn’t disturbed with the situation and insisted Wednesday that he’s more worried about earning more Super Bowl rings than fattening up his back account.
“I’ve always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” Mahomes, a two-time Super Bowl champion, told reporters. “We see what’s going on around the league, but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it’s kind of teetering around that line.”
Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in July of 2020, an average of $45 million per season.
But six quarterbacks have since passed Mahomes in terms of average pay. This offseason alone, Lamar Jackson ($52 million AAV) of the Baltimore Ravens and Jalen Hurts ($51 million) of the Philadelphia Eagles signed wealthy extensions that leave them as the top two on the list.
Also ahead of Mahomes are the New York Jets’ Aaron Rodgers ($50.2 million), Russell Wilson ($48.5M) of the Denver Broncos, Kyler Murray ($46.1M) of the Arizona Cardinals and Deshaun Watson ($46M) of the Cleveland Browns.
In addition, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers are nearing extensions that could also top Mahomes.
Mahomes’ deal runs through the 2031 season and he said he understands the restraints of the salary cap in terms of the Chiefs needing to lock up other good players.
“You just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks (financially),” Mahomes said. “Whenever their contracts come up, you want to keep the bar pushing (higher).
“It’s not about being the highest-paid guy; it’s not about making a ton of money. I’ve made enough money where I’ll be set for the rest of my life. But at the same time, you got to find that line where you’re making a good amount of money but you’re still keeping a lot of great players around you so you can win these Super Bowls and you’re able to compete in these games.”
The Chiefs have indicated they would like to make adjustments to Mahomes’ contract but haven’t detailed a timetable.
Mahomes, 27, has thrown for 24,241 yards and 192 touchdowns against just 49 interceptions in 80 career starts for the Chiefs over six seasons. He won his second NFL MVP award last season when he passed for a career-high 5,250 yards to go with 41 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also guided the Chiefs to a 38-35 win over the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.