Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs shook the football world on Monday with the announcement of a massive 10-year contract extension with the upside of more than half a billion dollars.
While there are tricky guarantee clauses and incentives baked into the contract, the deal secures a long-term relationship between the Chiefs and their reigning 24-year-old Super Bowl MVP quarterback. It also resets the quarterback market.
For this, Deshaun Watson is pleased. The Houston Texans quarterback is approaching the fourth season of the five-year rookie deal he signed after being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft — two picks after the Chiefs selected Mahomes.
Of course Watson doesn’t possess the league MVP trophy or the Super Bowl ring that Mahomes does. But he is one of the game’s best young quarterbacks. And Mahomes’ deal is good news for the prospects of his second NFL contract.
He knows it.
Deshaun Watson’s response
His teammate JJ Watt knows it, too.
Will Watson get a Mahomes-like deal?
Should Watson expect a 10-year deal approaching $500 million? No. Mahomes is a singular talent.
But Watson is a two-time Pro Bowler who has led the Texans to double-digit victories and the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. He is a coveted asset the Texans would be better off settling with for the long term sooner than later.
Watson is due $1.2 million this season and $17.5 million in 2021 on the fifth-year option the Texans have already picked up. It adds up to, of course, a significant discount to his true market value.
The Houston Chronicle reported in May that Watson could end up making up to $42 million annually when he does sign an extension. Watson’s new deal all but ensures that his value will approach that number.
What about other young QBs?
Speaking of Prescott, Mahomes’ deal is good for him, too — along with every other talented quarterback facing the prospect of a second contract in the NFL.
Prescott obviously isn’t on Mahomes’ level. He’s arguably not on Watson’s. But he is a two-time Pro Bowler coming off his best season. And after Mahomes’ deal, he’s likely to command a long-term contract with an annual value north of the $31.4 million he agreed to when signing his franchise tender.
Who else stands to benefit from Mahomes’ new deal? Lamar Jackson comes to mind.
The reigning league MVP is scheduled to earn $1.34 million in the third season of his rookie contract this year. With his running tendencies and vulnerabilities, he’s not likely to approach anywhere near the length of Mahomes’ deal. But when it’s his turn to sign a new deal, the annual average could eclipse whatever Watson signs for.
Mahomes’ mega-deal is also good news for Kyler Murray. The second-year quarterback is obviously a long way from signing his second deal. But Murray lived up to the hype he took to Arizona as the No. 1 overall pick last year while winning Rookie of the Year honors with the Cardinals.
The prospects are now even better for when it becomes his turn to get paid.
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