Patrick Mahomes signed a four-year, $16,425,786 contract in 2017 after he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, per Spotrac. Mahomes made a $555,000 salary this season. Part of the reason for the lower salary number by NFL standards is his signing bonus.
Mahomes made an additional $2,521,506 this season thanks to his $10 million signing bonus. This bonus is split up over the life of his contract as CincyJungle.com explains.
A signing bonus is what is known as “guaranteed money.” This is cash a player earns just for signing a contract. Signing bonuses are typically spread throughout the life of the contract, but if a player is released, the team must pay him the rest of the bonus he is due.
For instance, if John Doe received a signing bonus of $1M for a four-year deal, each year he is paid $250,000. If John Doe is released after the first year, he is due the remaining $750,000. The amount of money owed is known as dead money.
After the 2018 season, Mahomes will have two more years left on his deal. Overall, Mahomes is making a lot of money, but by NFL quarterback standards he is on a very team-friendly deal.
The Chiefs Are Hoping for the Russell Wilson Effect on Their Roster
The Chiefs are hoping to take advantage of Mahomes’ salary over the next few years. Seattle is the best recent example for this model with their 2013 Super Bowl run. Russell Wilson had a salary of $526,217 in 2013, per Spotrac.
This allowed the Seahawks to use their salary cap money to pay up at other positions. The Seahawks also benefited from their entire 2012 draft class who were all on rookie deals.
Quarterbacks typically take up a good portion of their team’s salary cap, so the Chiefs can benefit from Mahomes’ deal if they are able to make smart personnel decisions. For example, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is one of the highest-paid players in the NFL and had a cap hit of $17.7 million for the 2018 season.
This is close to $15 million less than what the Chiefs have allocated for Mahomes. This will change once Mahomes signs his second contract, so the window is now for the Chiefs to continue putting pieces around their franchise quarterback.
Kansas City Trading up for Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft Continues to Pay Dividends
Kansas City had to move up in the 2017 NFL draft to have the opportunity to select Mahomes. The Chiefs traded the No. 27 pick, a third-round pick and their 2018 first-round pick to the Bills for the No. 10 pick where they ultimately selected Mahomes.
Browns general manager John Dorsey was the Chiefs GM at the time the team traded up for Mahomes. Dorsey explained why he made the deal, and what intel he received from other teams who were looking to do make a similar move.
“I know there were three teams that wanted this player very badly,” Dorsey said after the trade, per CantonRep.com. “I got a text or two that says, ‘How did you do that?’…I felt to get this player I had to get to 10. When you do a move like this, you have to do it with everybody on board. From the very beginning, all the way back from when we evaluated (Mahomes) back in September, October, the reigning consensus was he has unbelievable talent. He’s got the skill set to be one of those truly great players.”
The deal looks to have landed the Chiefs one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and Mahomes’ bargain contract should allow Kansas City to add other top players in the coming years.