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In the days and weeks following the biggest win of Patrick Mahomes’ professional career, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback allowed himself to soak it all in.
During the Chiefs’ celebratory parade after winning Super Bowl LIV, a gala that was his official coronation as the King of the City, Mahomes reveled in the moment, smiling for the cameras, chugging beers with his teammates and playfully letting his hair down in a way the uber-mature 24-year-old rarely has in public.
And why wouldn’t he?
Given the occasion, a celebration of the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl win in 50 years, and what Mahomes could tell it meant to Kansas Citians, Mahomes felt like partying with thousands of his closest friends.
“You see the appreciation, I think, which is the best part about it,” Mahomes told Yahoo Sports during a phone interview this week on behalf of Essentia Water, which recently announced a partnership with Mahomes to star in the brand’s first national campaign. “The people that have been passionate and loved the Chiefs for so long, for them to have that championship now … to finally get through [after many disappointments] and be champions now, I feel like they’re a part of us and we’re kind of able to celebrate with them. I’m excited to be in Kansas City and to keep being around people like that.”
All of which should be music to the ears of Chiefs fans, especially with Mahomes’ next contract looming. The Chiefs own his rights for the next two years, but now that he has completed his third NFL season, he’s eligible to sign an extension that should make him the game’s highest-paid player.
Even with that major payday looming, Mahomes insists his primary goal was, is and will always be winning football games.
“In college, I didn’t win a lot of football games,” Mahomes said, “I never got to win a state championship or anything like that in high school, so to be on top, especially at the level of the NFL, and to be able to say I’m a champion is something I’ll be able to have the rest of my life. And hopefully, I’ll be able to get a few of them.”
The promise of that is motivating Mahomes as he navigates a path forward as the NFL’s newest superstar whose mere presence or involvement can create league-wide interest. As such, while some of the storylines that have been floating around in his orbit of late — like whether he’ll give the Chiefs a Tom Brady-like contract discount or his upcoming guest appearance on the LeBron James’ HBO show, “The Shop” — are fully in his control, others – like whether the Chiefs will visit the White House or whether the Chiefs will entertain signing Dez Bryant – are not.
Contract negotiation status
After winning Super Bowl MVP in February, Mahomes solidified his title as the most accomplished 24-year-old quarterback of all time. From a financial perspective, the timing couldn’t have been better.
The Chiefs want to hammer out an extension with Mahomes, and one of Mahomes’ agents, Leigh Steinberg, recently told Matt Verderame of FanSided that while he wants to ensure that Mahomes gets the money he deserves, he also wants to ensure the Chiefs have a good roster since quarterback greatness is judged by Super Bowls.
“When you look back on your career at the end of your career, you want to look back and see a lot of success, a lot of wins, a lot of Super Bowl wins hopefully — it’s something where I want to look back and see a lot of success,” Mahomes told Yahoo Sports. “Obviously I want to get a contract, obviously I want to provide for my family for a long time and do everything like that.
“But I want to make sure I do it the smart way and do it the right way, and so I don’t know exactly which way that is, yet. I know that my people and the Chiefs’ people will talk about it, and will do it at the right time and for the betterment for the team. But I’m excited to be a Kansas City Chief for a very long time, and I know that’s going to be handled the right way because of the people the Kansas City Chiefs have in their organization.”
Mahomes then reassured Chiefs fans who may be concerned about his contract situation.
“Just know that we’re gonna try to win every single year,” Mahomes said. “Whichever way possible, we’re going to do it and we’re gonna try to keep as many people on this team as we possibly can that won the Super Bowl this year so we can run it back again next year.”
Mahomes hopes that run includes defensive lineman Chris Jones and receiver Sammy Watkins. Jones is up for a contract extension this offseason, and the Chiefs can save upward of $14 million by releasing Watkins, a Super Bowl hero. Mahomes says he’s talked to both players this offseason, but not about their contracts.
“I think the biggest thing is, [you’re] talking [to] them as people and I mean, those guys love playing for the Kansas City Chiefs — y’all know that, how they talk about the Kansas City Chiefs,” Mahomes said. “They also want to be able to provide for their families, just like I do, so they’re gonna do what’s best for themselves and for their families. But I know they love playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and love winning championships as much as I do, so I’m excited for them to go out there and have success and hopefully, it’s with the Kansas City Chiefs.”
More workouts with Dez Bryant
Two and a half weeks after the Super Bowl, a video of Mahomes throwing to former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant — a former superstar who hasn’t played in the NFL in two years — went viral.
Throwing passes to Bryant was a thrill for Mahomes, a Whitehouse, Texas, native who grew up rooting for the Cowboys. The two even train at the same place — APEC, in Fort Worth, Texas, under trainer Bobby Stroupe.
So, when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones noted recently that Bryant would like to make an NFL comeback, it seemed to be a good jumping-off point for asking Mahomes whether he’d consider making a pitch to the Chiefs on Bryant’s behalf.
“He’s obviously a very talented player, someone I watched as a little kid growing up,” Mahomes said. “But I leave stuff like that to [general manager Brett] Veach and let him make the decisions. Obviously, [Veach] lets me know some of the stuff he’s doing here and there, but I’m blessed to be with a great organization [with] a great general manager, a great head coach and great people around them.
Mahomes did say he’ll likely throw to Bryant again in the near future at APEC.
Weighing White House visit decision
The championship team’s traditional visit to the White House has shifted significantly since President Donald Trump took office, as teams have increasingly decided against attending. The NFL’s two most recent champions — the New England Patriots in 2019 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 — did not visit.
Shortly after the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory, President Trump said the team plans on visiting. The club has yet to confirm, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he plans to attend, and so did tight end Travis Kelce.
“Obviously, keeping the politics out of it — it’s an incredible opportunity that you see growing up with teams that win championships, getting invited to the White House and just being invited to the White House in general,” Mahomes said when asked if he plans on attending. “But that’s something that I will talk about with my guys and really make the right decision that represents us, represents Kansas City and the Chiefs in the right way. That’s the decision we’ll make, hopefully, as we get closer to OTAs and everyone’s on the same page.”
Teams with returning head coaches are allowed to begin their offseason workout programs as early as April 20, so perhaps some clarity will come around then. But in the meantime, Mahomes has no shortage of other things to think about. Some of them will even involve another sport he enjoys — golf.
Not only will Mahomes visit a pair of beautiful courses — Bandon Dunes in Oregon and Pebble Beach in California — in the coming months, he also couldn’t be more pumped for his first trip to The Masters.
“I wanted to go last year — my buddy had a bachelor trip but I didn’t get to go, and then Tiger [Woods] won it ... he’s my favorite golfer so I was a little upset about [missing] it,” Mahomes said. “But I get to go this year, so hopefully, he can repeat or something like that so I’ll get to see him perform well.”
But most of Mahomes’ offseason schedule will center on his training, which has already begun. For Mahomes, the push for greatness never stops … and now that he’s been to the mountaintop, he has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
“Now that I’ve won the Super Bowl [and had] that taste of winning the Super Bowl and having that feeling, you kind of chase that now,” Mahomes told Yahoo Sports. “I’d heard people talk about stuff like that before, of when you win championships, it’s almost like you get hungrier because you want to have that feeling again, and I think that’s true.
“Winning that Super Bowl, being at that parade and enjoying it with those guys around me, you want to have that feeling again, and you understand that now it’s on to the next season, now you have to go do it all over again. It really is cool to go out there and be a part of something great, and be a part of something that takes time and takes effort and takes work every single day to succeed and be on top. You want to be on top again.”
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