There is no question that if you included QB in a list of contract bargains that Patrick Mahomes would be on top of that list before he gets his extension. For that matter, any good QB on a rookie deal would make the list because of the importance of the position and the value they add to their teams.
This list will not include QB for those reasons.
There are players that are bargains for their teams without being QBs, however.
Let’s start with the Kansas City Chiefs. There are a few players on the Chiefs that pop out as great bargains for them.
The first player on that list is Mitchell Schwartz. Now, you may hesitate at that because Schwartz is going to be making over 11 million this coming season. However, he is just the fifth highest paid RT in football. If you include all tackles he is the 20th paid LT and RT. If you consider all offensive lineman he is the 27th highest paid lineman.
Schwartz is a guy who had arguably the greatest playoff run of any lineman in history. He gave up only one pressure the entire run through the Super Bowl. He is currently one of the best lineman in the NFL, so getting him as the 27th highest paid is a great bargain for Kansas City.
Another great contract bargain for the Chiefs is Charvarius Ward. Ward is arguably one of the best bargains in the NFL. He is a starting corner giving up the fourth lowest QB rating of any CB in football. However, he is currently paid only 571,666 a year. That is the same as Tavierre Thomas and Tre Herndon. Who?
Cornerback is arguably the second most important position in football. The Chiefs are able to put one of the most productive players in the NFL out there at one of the cheapest prices.
Another bargain for the Chiefs is safety Juan Thornhill. Thornill was off to an incredible rookie year before it was cut short by injury. Productive rookies are incredible assets for any team. The rookie contract allows teams to get great production for little cost allowing the team to spend money elsewhere.
There is no question Thornhill has the ability to be one of the top defensive backs in the NFL. His athleticism is off the charts and he is able to learn from one of the best in Tyrann Mathieu. As long as he cane have a good recovery, expect Thornhill to have a great comeback season.
When you look around the rest of the NFL there are a group of players that standout as contract bargains as well.
Starting at the CB position, you can include Tre’davious White and Marshon Lattimore.
As mentioned previously, productive players on rookie deals are critical for teams to be successful. Tre White is one of the best corners in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and a big reason why their defense has been so successful.
Lattimore is similar to White in that sense. He is one of the top corners in the NFL and a main reason why the New Orleans Saints are so successful over the past few years.
Safeties that can be included on the list include Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Budda Baker.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they have to face James twice a year as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers. He is a vital chess piece, with outstanding versatility, in the defensive backfield for the Chargers.
Fitzpatrick is another chess piece type player with the ability to play every position in the secondary for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers immediately became one of the best defenses in the NFL once Fitzpatrick joined the Steelers.
Fitzpatrick’s teammate is also a great contract bargain in the NFL. TJ Watt has had 13 and 14.5 sacks in his first two years in the NFL. That production is among the best in the NFL. He is another player on a rookie deal that will hit a huge payday when his time comes.
Some 2019 rookie pass rushers that you could make an argument for include Maxx Crosby and Brian Burns. Both players had great rookie campaigns with 10 and 7.5 sacks respectively. If they can keep up that type of production they would definitely be considered some of the best contract bargains in the NFL.
Shifting over to the offensive side of the ball. Quenton Nelson is at the top of the list. It is not often you hear about and offensive guard being one of the best players in football, but Nelson is just that. He is dominate. Lineman don’t have too many stats to look at, but throw on the film of Nelson and you can see why everyone talks about him being one of the players in all of football.
There are also a pair of pass catchers that are contract bargains in 2020. They happen to be a pair of DJs and that is DJ Chark and DJ Moore.
Both WRs emerged a explosive threats in the pass game for their teams in 2019. They finished with over 1,000 yards each and Chark tallied eight touchdowns while Moore hauled in four.
These guys did this all while both having inconsistent QB play. With more efficient QB play these guys could be even better in 2020.
The ability to find contract bargains are critical in constructing a complete roster. Brett Veach was able to find those guys in Kansas City and were able to hoist the Lombardi trophy because of it.
The ability to continue to find guys like Charvarius Ward is going to be critical moving forward for the Chiefs because Mahomes is no longer going to be on his rookie deal and you are going to need to fill out the roster with inexpensive productive players. If they are able to do that there is no reason why they can’t continue to make runs at the Super Bowl.