Allbright: Mahomes’ Contract “A Steal” For Chiefs

In a few years, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be “criminally underpaid,” Benjamin Allbright says

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
July 07, 2020 - 10:09 am
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs AFC Championship

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Patrick Mahomes signed the richest contract in NFL history Monday: a 10-year, $450 million deal that includes $140 million guaranteed.

Is that a lot of money? Yes. Did the Kansas City Chiefs win the deal nonetheless? Broncos analyst Benjamin Allbright says yes.

“I think long term you’re going to look at this deal as a steal,” Allbright said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “If you go back through history and get every franchise quarterback signed on their second year to a 10-year deal, by year three it would be an absolute steal; by year seven, it would be criminally underpaid relative to what they’re making versus the market. The numbers on the surface look huge. But I promise you by year three we’re looking at this as a regular deal. Just go back and look at that astronomical deal Joe Flacco signed. By year three, it was a below-market deal.”

If that is the case, then why would Mahomes sign this contract?

“I think it gives him stability within an organization, and I think indexing it to the cap and then putting escalators and incentives in there benefits both parties,” Allbright said. “They’re going to be able to continue to field great talent around him and keep him in contention for [the] playoffs and the championships, and at the same time it allows him to maximize his dollar relative to his performance. I think it’s probably the future of quarterback deals being put on the table right here.”

When Kirk Cousins signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, many analysts wondered if fully guaranteed were the wave of the future. Allbright, however, wasn’t sold.

“I didn’t buy that the fully guaranteed deals were going to be the wave of the future simply because it’s not economical in a structure like the NFL,” he said. “If you fully guarantee deals, you’re on the hook for every dollar. That leaves you an astronomical cap charge if something goes wrong. You can look at the Alex Smith deal, for instance, for the bad side of that. And so, I think that instead of fully guaranteed deals, I think you’re going to see indexed deals with guarantees and escalators on a per-year basis going forward. I think that’s the wave of the future, especially for quarterback contracts.”

Mahomes, 24, still has two years left on his rookie deal and is signed through 2031. What are the odds that he actually plays out the entire 10-year extension?

“Barring injury, very high,” Allbright said. “I can’t see him agreeing to this and then trying to revisit it in five years and hold out. I just can’t see that. Pat Mahomes comes from a family that has money; obviously his father played pro baseball. This is not a situation where he’s going to the well and banking on money for generational wealth for his family. He’s already got that. So I think he’s one of those guys that, word is bond, and I think in the end this is something that benefits both [sides]. It benefits him, and it benefits the organization. . . . I think the only people it’s bad for, really, is the rest of the AFC West.”