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Mahomes driven by championships

by Jesse Newell The Kansas City Star | May 25, 2023 at 2:16 a.m.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says his goal is not to be the highest-paid QB in the NFL.

Instead, the 27-year-old said he hopes to be compensated well while also considering what's best for the team.

"I've always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment," Mahomes said during a news conference after his team's offseason practice Wednesday. "But I know we keep communication [his agency and team].

"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 previously agreed to a 10-year, $450 million extension in July 2020, which at the time was a record for all sports worldwide. The first season of that 10-year pact went into effect last season.

Since then, though, Mahomes has been passed by six other QBs on a per-year basis, including Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson in the past two months.

Mahomes reiterated Wednesday that he was not driven to be the league's richest quarterback.

"It's more of a, you just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks whenever their contracts come up. You want to keep the bar pushing. 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," Mahomes said. "But at the same time, you've 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."

When asked Wednesday if what he described with the contract was a tricky line to walk, Mahomes admitted that it was.

"I think it is for all these guys. I think you see the guys that are getting paid this last offseason, they're trying to find that right spot," he said. "Everybody wants to get paid a lot of money. If they think they're the best at their craft, they want to get paid like that. But at the same time, if you look at the greats in the league, they find that right spot where they're getting paid a lot of money, but at the same time keeping a lot of these great players around me."

Mahomes singled out players like defensive lineman Chris Jones and defensive back L'Jarius Sneed, who are currently on the last year of their contracts. The Chiefs could choose to re-negotiate with them soon. Mahomes also mentioned tight end Travis Kelce, whose deal runs through 2025.

"All these guys that you need to keep around you to have these great teams. But at the same time, you wanna make sure you're taking care of yourself," Mahomes said. "We have open communication. I think that's the biggest thing.

"And you see that from [owner] Clark [Hunt]. You see that from Coach [Andy] Reid. You see that from [General Manager Brett] Veach and everybody. We're just trying to make sure that we have the best team on that football field, and everybody gets what they deserve."

Hunt, when asked about a potential new extension for Mahomes last month, admitted that coming up with a dollar value for what the QB means to KC would be challenging.

"I don't know that there's really a way to quantify it financially," Hunt said April 28. "And, no matter what he makes over his career, I'm sure one way or another, he'll be underpaid."

The previous week, Veach said the team had a special relationship with Mahomes and his agent, Chris Cabott, relaying that the Chiefs would always want to "make sure that we're doing right by everybody" as it related to a potential new extension.

Veach said then it could be a good time to reassess Mahomes' deal once quarterbacks Joe Burrow (Cincinnati) and Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers) sign their expected upcoming extensions.

Hunt, in his conversation with reporters last month, said he admired Mahomes for structuring his current 10-year extension to give the Chiefs some financial breathing room.

"I think what Patrick cared most about was winning. And he certainly has been able to do a lot of that," Hunt said. "Brett Veach has had enough flexibility to be able to add quality players each year. And that's part of the reason why we were able to lift the Lombardi Trophy again."

Print Headline: Mahomes driven by championships


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