Per the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, Patrick Mahomes becomes eligible to renegotiate his rookie deal beginning the day after the Super Bowl. While he has definitely earned a big raise, it’s in his and the team’s best interest to wait a year.
When Mahomes signs his next deal he will become the highest-paid player in the history of the league. But it makes too much sense for him to wait a year before he signs that new deal. It starts with the fact that this off-season is a quarterback heavy off-season.
Dak Prescott is a free agent reportedly asking for a deal that will pay him between $35-$40 million per season. I think that is insane, but the Dallas Cowboys have made a living out of being insane. Deshaun Watson is in the same boat as Mahomes and will be looking to get a bump on his rookie deal. Like Mahomes, Watson has earned a new contract.
The issue those two make for Mahomes is they all three want to be the highest-paid. That means the last one to sign wins. Prescott is a free agent so he’ll have to sign a deal this season. Watson is a player with two torn ACLs and can’t risk a third before he signs. So if Mahomes waits one year he’ll be guaranteed to sign the bigger deal.
A year from now the NFL will have a new collective bargaining agreement that is likely to mean more money for the players. More money means the opportunity to ask for a bigger contract, $50 million per year may be realistic. Mahomes can afford to wait thanks to the millions he’s making thanks to Oakley, State Farm, and his many other endorsements.
It’s almost guaranteed if he waits he’d sign a higher deal, and he has the financial ability to do so without sacrificing what he wants. It would be foolish of him to sign a deal this off-season.
You would think what’s good for the player means bad for the team, but in this case, waiting a year is good for both. The Chiefs are going to pay Mahomes this contract, why not put it off for a year? If the Chiefs waited and structured the deal the way most tops of the market contracts are, they would have two years of cap freedom.
A big contract normally comes with a low cap number in the first season when the player is getting a large signing bonus. If Mahomes signs his deal this offseason that would mean 2020 would be the final season with a low priced quarterback. But if they wait one year then they’ll have him on his rookie deal in 2020 and his low first year in 2021. A lot of contracts can be worked around with a two-year window like that.
Mahomes will make more money and the Chiefs can have two years of cap free of a huge quarterback contract if they wait. Both sides would be foolish to pass that up and sign a contract this season.