Patrick Mahomes says he's more into winning championships than making money "at this moment" and sees his legacy as something more important than the number on his contract. The Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in 2020 -- a record-setting contract at the time.
Since that nearly half-a-billion-dollar contract, signal-callers across the league have signed even larger blockbuster deals with greater average annual values. This offseason, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts signed a five-year, $255 million contract ($51 million AAV) that made him the highest-paid player in the league. That did not last long, however, because Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson surpassed him with his five-year, $260 million deal ($52 million AAV).
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, meanwhile, signed a five-year $230 million deal ($46 million AAV) last offseason that's fully guaranteed.
Mahomes is currently seventh in average annual value among quarterbacks at $45 million per year.
With such big contracts coming out of the league, it brings up the question as to whether Mahomes should take a second look at his once-ground-breaking contract.
Mahomes said right now he is focused on on-field success, with the main goal being more Lombardi Trophies.
"Me, my agent and the team always keep open communication, and we always try to do whatever is best for the team, and obviously I want to do what is best for me as well," Mahomes said. "But I've always said I'm about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment."
#Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was asked about his contract and how so many other QBs have passed him:— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 24, 2023
"I worry about legacy and winning rings more than money at this moment."
"I've made enough money where I'll be set for the rest of my life."
The 27-year-old also brought up that making more money could mean missing out on signing players who could help him get more hardware.
"I know we keep communication. We see what's going on around the league," No. 15 said. "But at the same time, I'll never do anything that will hurt us from keeping the great players around me. It's about teetering on that line."
The two-time Super Bowl champion has proven to be the best quarterback in the league, and when you are at the top, often you want to be compensated appropriately. Mahomes is making less than many of the far less accomplished quarterbacks, including the Denver Broncos' Russell Wilson, the Arizona Cardinals Kyler Murray and the Browns' Watson.
Some of the best quarterbacks in league history did not spend their careers atop the highest-paid quarterback list, valuing using the extra money the team has to retain other stars rather than up their own contract. This is something Mahomes is already thinking about and wants to be sure his supporting cast is getting the contracts they need to stick around.
The market is a delicate balance and could change again when Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow gets his new deal. Mahomes wants to be courteous of the other guys in the league, but does not put any weight on being the highest-paid QB.
"Everybody wants to get paid a lot of money when they think they're the best at their craft," Mahomes said. "But when you look at the greats, they find that sweet spot where they make a lot of money but they keep great players around them."
Mahomes won his second Super Bowl and his second MVP award last season, becoming the only quarterback in NFL history to win two league MVPs and two Super Bowls in the first six years of his career. He is the first player since 1999 to win the league MVP and win it all in the same year. He had a league-high 5.250 yards with 41 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, earning him a fifth Pro Bowl.
Mahomes continues to be an MVP and Super Bowl favorite even before the 2023 season has started. As he aims for a third title, it is winning on his mind, not the money.