Chiefs’ Mahomes: ‘I’m about legacy and winning rings more than making money’

Patrick Mahomes would rather win Super Bowls than a contest to make the most money.

That doesn’t mean the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback hasn’t seen what’s been happening across the NFL.

Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in 2020 that set the bar for quarterbacks, but it already has been surpassed several times over. The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts signed a five-year, $255 million deal April 17 that briefly made him the NFL’s highest-paid player, until Lamar Jackson signed a five-year, $260 million deal with the Ravens a mere 10 days later.

That immediately raised the question about whether Mahomes would want to redo his contract.

“Me, my agent and the team always keep open communication, and we always try to do whatever is best for the team, and obviously I want to do what is best for me as well,” Mahomes said after a voluntary workout Wednesday at the team’s facility. “But I’ve always said I’m about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment.

“I know we keep communication. We see what’s going on around the league,” he continued, “but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that will hurt us from keeping the great players around me. It’s about teetering on that line.”

Still, the deal Mahomes signed just three years ago already has slipped to seventh in terms of annual value, behind far less accomplished QBs such as the Broncos’ Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray of the Cardinals and the Browns’ Deshaun Watson.

“Everybody wants to get paid a lot of money when they think they’re the best at their craft,” Mahomes said. “But when you look at the greats, they find that sweet spot where they make a lot of money but they keep great players around them.”

Mahomes is coming off perhaps the best year of his career, throwing for a league-leading 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions. He was chosen for his fifth straight Pro Bowl, voted the AP’s player of the year for the second time and, in February, helped Kansas City rally in the second half for a Super Bowl victory over Hurts and the Eagles.

Given those accomplishments, it’s hardly surprising that many are curious whether another contract is in the works, especially with Joe Burrow of the Bengals expected to reset the market with a new contract before the start of the season.

“You just want to not hurt other quarterbacks when their contracts come up,” Mahomes said. “You want to keep pushing but it’s not about being the highest-paid guy. It’s not about making a ton of money. I’ve made enough money where I’ll be set for life. But at the same time, you have to find that line where you’re making good money and keeping great players around you.”

Mahomes spent the first part of the offseason program working out with wide receivers and tight ends at his home in Texas, but he was back at the Chiefs training facility this week for the start of more structured voluntary workouts.

In between, Mahomes jetted his way to the Met Gala, the Kentucky Derby andt the Formula One race in Miami.

“I always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby but I wanted to go after we won the Super Bowl, and in 2019, we had COVID happening,” Mahomes said. “It’s just picking and choosing what you can do, but now we’re back in football and locking down and getting your body in the right spot. I have a few more trips but I’ve kind of settled down this offseason.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he had no reason to believe Mahomes wouldn’t be there.

“He’s all in and going after it,” Reid said Wednesday, “and he challenges himself and he challenges those around him to be great, on both sides of the ball. Everything is alive out there and moving fast and as a head coach, I appreciate that.”

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