Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt is well aware of the impact star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has had on this team in his short, but already memorable tenure at Arrowhead Stadium. In his midseason address Wednesday, Hunt showed just how much he admires the 24-year-old and his intentions on keeping Mahomes in a Chiefs shirt for as long as he can.
Hunt began his remarks by emphasizing the task at hand: winning football games and most importantly, the Super Bowl. The 54-year-old credited the reigning league MVP for being a catalyst behind the Chiefs’ success, adding that he’s never witnessed anyone play the game quite like Mahomes.
“I think it is no secret that in the National Football League, to win championships, you need somebody very special at the quarterback position,” Hunt said to reporters. “We have had some outstanding players here over the years, but I don’t think that we have had one like Patrick Mahomes in a very long time.”
Still on his rookie contract, Mahomes is due for an extension at the end of this campaign. Since he emerged as an MVP favorite last year, various reports suggested that the former Texas Tech gunslinger could be the NFL’s first $200 million quarterback. Being the face of Kansas City’s football team is a dream Hunt would like to make a reality, but he confirmed those conversations won’t begin until the culmination of this current season.
“It’s probably a little bit premature to be talking about a new contract,” Hunt said. “Everyone knows that the first opportunity that we’ll have to re-sign him will come at the end of this season. But that is a decision that we will have to make with his representatives.
“He is the centerpiece, and you build the team around him within the constraints of the salary cap.”
Kansas City Is Rebuilding a Franchise With Mahomes in Mind
Regardless of when those negotiations will begin, general manager Brett Veach admitted in February that Kansas City’s front office have been making calculated moves regarding free agency and upcoming drafts with the idea of building a team around Mahomes.
“Even last season when we were working through the free agents with Sammy (Watkins) and with Anthony (Hitchens) and Damien Williams, even at a different level there, everything we did last year, we were putting a plan together, and again this is pre-50 touchdown passes, 5,000 yards, we were prepared for Pat to have success and to be a franchise quarterback. So this process of structuring ourselves for the next [three to five] years with Pat in his current number and what the potential of his future number could be. We really started this process about a year ago, so I think we have a good plan, and I think everything we do structural-wise will allow for necessary room as we move forward with Pat and his deal down the line here.”
Mahomes Has the Personality of a True Leader
In his remarks, Hunt also couldn’t help but to commend Mahomes for the perseverance he’s displayed in the midst of his injury spell, highlighting the uplifting words the Texas native said to his teammates while on the sidelines.
“It’s hard particularly when you’re a leader and you’re not playing,” the fellow Texan said. “I thought he handled that well. I think we all saw what he did on the sideline to encourage his teammates, including going out and congratulating Harrison (Butker) after he made that kick to win the game against Minnesota.
“He has done a fantastic job. I hate to say that we expect it at this point, but we really do. He is a fantastic young man and a really outstanding leader.”
Some members of Chiefs Kingdom may be hesitant to make Super Bowl plans given the team’s recent shock defeat against the Tennessee Titans, but Hunt remains optimistic that Andy Reid’s men can still book their trip to Miami in February, contingent on Mahomes remaining healthy for the rest of the season and into the playoffs.
“I’ve been very encouraged by what I’ve seen, this past weekend notwithstanding. I do think the defense is improving. With Patrick back and now getting more of our offensive starters back, I think the offense can be as least as good as it was last year, if not better. And you put that together, and that gives you an opportunity to win a Super Bowl.”
The 6-4 Chiefs, who are ranked first in the AFC West, head to Mexico City on Monday in a contentious divisional contest against the Los Angeles Chargers.