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Chiefs sign Mahomes to record-setting contract extension

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs, the National Football League’s Super Bowl LIV champions, have signed star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year contract extension that with incentives could be worth as much as $503m, representing the largest-ever player contract in the history of US pro team sports.

The deal, containing $477m in “guarantee mechanisms” contains a no-trade clause, opt-out provisions for Mahomes if the guarantees aren’t realized, and a reported $140m in injury guarantees. The complex deal, beginning in 2022 and running through the 2031 season, adds to the two years remaining on Mahomes’ current contract. 

Mahomes, 24, quickly has become a key figure in the league, winning the league’s 2018 Most Valuable Player and then leading the Chiefs this past season to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. Mahomes is the first quarterback in NFL history to win a league MVP award and a Super Bowl before turning 25. 

“This is a significant moment for our franchise, and for the Chiefs Kingdom,” said Chiefs chairman and chief executive Clark Hunt, who on the same day as the Mahomes deal was announced also was grappling with the departure of his FC Dallas from Major League Soccer’s MLS Is Back tournament.

“Since he joined the Chiefs just a few years ago, Patrick has developed into one of the most prolific athletes in all of sports. With his dynamic play and infectious personality, he is one of the most recognized and beloved figures to put on the Chiefs uniform. He’s an extraordinary leader and a credit to the Kansas City community, and I’m delighted that he will be a member of the Chiefs for many years to come,” Hunt said.

NFL player contracts are not fully guaranteed in the same way they are in many other major US sports leagues, and the Mahomes deal in part contains annual incentives of reaching the Super Bowl and winning league MVP to reach the full value. But there is also reportedly more than $80m in fully guaranteed money just in the next three years for Mahomes, followed by hefty annual bonuses for remaining on the Chiefs roster. 

The maximum value of the Mahomes deal surpasses the prior standard bearer for US player contracts, the 12-year, $426.5m contract extension that Major League Baseball superstar Mike Trout signed early last year with the Los Angeles Angels. The Trout deal, however, is fully guaranteed, and the Chiefs conversely retain the option to exit the Mahomes deal early. 

Mahomes is represented by Leigh Steinberg and Chris Cabott of Steinberg Sports & Entertainment.

“Getting this deal done has been a priority for us for quite a while now,” said Brett Veach, Chiefs general manager. “I’ve said from the beginning that Patrick is one of the most impressive players I’ve ever scouted, but I don’t think anyone could have envisioned everything he’s brought to our football team and community.”