Mahomes seeks balance of respect, team needs, QBs

Mike Florio and Chris Simms unpack Patrick Mahomes’ remarks about focusing on legacy and winning rings more than making money at this point in his career.

Video Transcript

- All right, Patrick Mahomes, something we have talked about as, remember, he was the highest paid player in football when he signed his current contract. He jumped the record APY by $10 million per year. Went from $35 million to $45 million. Now, he is $7 million per year behind Lamar Jackson. He met with reporters yesterday and he was asked about how he feels now that he is three years into the 12-year contract he signed with the Chiefs in 2020.

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PATRICK MAHOMES: Yeah. I mean, I always keep-- me and my agent and the team I always keep open communication, and we try to do whatever is the best for the team, but obviously I want to do the best for myself as well. But at the same time, I've always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment. But I know we keep communication. We see what's going on around the league.

But at the same time, I'll never do anything that's going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it's kind of teetering around that line. You just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks whenever their contracts come up. You want to kind of keep the bar pushing. And so, 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 the rest of my life. But at the same time, you've got to find that line where you're making a good amount of money, but you're still keeping a lot of great players around you so you can win these Super Bowls, and you're able to compete in these games.

- Hey, Patrick, you know who else has made enough money for the rest of his life and doesn't need any more? Clark Hunt.


- Mike Florio? Oh.

- And me. But Clark Hunt, but Clark Hunt. And you know what? Every dollar you leave on the table that doesn't get spent on some other player-- that's the dirty little secret of all this. All these guys who are taking less to help the team, what kind of accounting is being made available to them to show that all the money that would have gone to them is truly being invested in making the team better? Or is that money being squirreled away into the pocket of the owner.

I don't know the answer to that question, and I don't even know how you'd go about examining the books properly. You need a forensic accountant to break it all down and understand exactly where all that money is going that you're leaving behind. And what I hear there-- and it's funny because yesterday, everybody ran with that one little clip. When you listen to everything he said, this guy's conflicted. He's trying to strike a balance here.

- Yeah. That's right.


- Right?

- Yeah. He is.

- I don't need-- I've got my money, but, but, you know--

- I like what he's saying.

- There's other quarterbacks out there.

- Yeah.

- You know, and hey, look, he was the highest paid player by $10 million per year.

- Right.

- When he signed his latest deal.

- Yeah.

- So regardless of whether he wants to be, he was.

- Right.

- And now he isn't. And now lesser quarterbacks are making more than him. And at a certain point, you look bad.

- Yeah.

- It's not about do I have enough money. It's about where do I fit. Where's my respect? How am I viewed? How am I treated? Am I getting the proper respect financially that I deserve? And that's why-- look, I just, I mean, the guy shouldn't-- I've said before recently, there should be a league-wide fund that gives extra compensation to the best players because he is the rising tide that lifts all boats.


- Yeah. I mean, I hear what you're saying there. I mean, by far the face of the NFL right now, and we know that. It's special. And, I mean, it's hard not to love Patrick Mahomes, just his approach, his thought process, even the things he was saying there. Yeah. I'm with you. I think he's conflicted. He's trying to find that balance of, yeah, respecting me, making the team good, right? But I don't want to have so much money here that the team's not good and I look like a jerk.

But also the biggest thing, and what I really appreciated about him, and we've talked about this before, is he's aware of the other quarterbacks in the NFL, and that's the other process. And not only by being aware of the other quarterbacks, he's really being aware of all players in the NFL because the quarterback contracts are going to raise everybody. It just raises the market for everything there.

And that's one thing where I will complain about Brady where he didn't do his justice as the face of the NFL there for a while. He never pushed the bar, and that's why we're seeing it explode right now, like you're saying. I mean, three years ago, he upped the market by $10 million. Here we are three years later, and he's below the market by $7 million. That just shows you that the market was way off for a while, and that's because I think some of the star quarterbacks weren't pushing the envelope there a little bit. They were letting the teams and the owners have their way. Put that money in my pocket, like you were just talking about.

So that's where I love Mahomes. His awareness all together and, yeah, he wants everything, but he's got a humble way of doing it too. And I just respect him. I guess that's what I'm saying. I'm interested to see where he finds that balance, Mike, like you're talking.


- And also, also, there could be a disconnect between what he's willing to say publicly and what he believes privately on this because you don't keep your fan base behind you if you stand up there and say you're damn right I should be the highest paid player in the NFL, and you're damn right when Clark Hunt says no matter what I get, I'm going to be underpaid. I should get everything. They should give it all to me. I'm the reason why this team is great. If he says that-- he's got to rely on others, like us to say that.

- Exactly. But your gut says he's not that. Right. And I don't think he's that anyways, right? Your pasta and meatballs gut doesn't tell you he's like that, right? I mean, I don't know either. I'm just saying I've got no inkling. I feel like if he was like that, like you're talking about, he'd already have a new contract. Like, he'd be that way.

- I think he will by week 1. I think he will. By week 1, he'll be the highest paid player in the NFL again.

- Yeah. Yeah.


- I believe that.

- Right. I don't disagree. I would think they could find a way to make that work, and then it could still be somewhat team-friendly and where we're at and all of that to where we can make everybody happy.


- Easy solution. Folks, I've been talking about it for years. Here we go. Howie Roseman busted my chops about it at the scouting combine because they don't want to do it. The teams don't want to do it. They don't want to give the power and the protection to the players.

I mean, and the way Mahomes explained it, it falls right in line with it. You want to protect the other quarterbacks. You want to protect the rest of the team so there's enough there to go around. You're not paid a dollar figure. You're paid a percentage of the cap. I'm getting $0.17 on the dollar, and the team's got $0.83 on the dollar to put a team around me. There is nothing more fair than that concept, and Pete's telling us to break because it's been almost an hour. Hey, Pete, we've gone over an hour before.