While the Kansas City Chiefs appear in no hurry to pay star defensive lineman Chris Jones, the general consensus is it's only a matter of time until they break the bank for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Team chairman Clark Hunt, in fact, indicated earlier this offseason that contract extension talks would begin this summer, suggesting a lucrative long-term deal could arrive even before the 2020 campaign.
According to Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest, however, the much more likely scenario is an agreement in 2021. Joining Will Brinson on Thursday's Pick Six NFL Podcast, Derrick said both Mahomes and the Chiefs have long anticipated a new deal coming after the 2020 season rather than before it.
"I think it's going to be after the first of the year," Derrick said. "Just, again, too many obstacles to get it done as far as just uncertainty with the salary cap and where the league is financially. But all along, really, both sides have targeted after the 2020 season when they thought it would get done."
Even without the COVID-19 pandemic's influence on the NFL's future salary cap, Derrick added, the Chiefs were likely going to hold off and maneuver their own cap situation for the benefit of both sides. Mahomes, meanwhile, is already under contract through 2021 thanks to the Chiefs exercising their fifth-year option on the former first-round pick.
"Especially in the next season or two, they are really tied up, as far as what they've got committed," he said. "They need to be able to find a team-friendly deal and still get him his money ... I think all along they've known it was going to be after the 2020 season."
One way the Chiefs could end up compensating Mahomes as the NFL's top young QB, Derrick said, is via a contract based strictly on a percentage of the team's total cap -- something that's yet to be executed in the NFL. In any event, the reigning Super Bowl MVP is a sure bet to reset the QB market and become the league's highest-paid player.