For the first time in over a decade, a decade-long contract has been signed in the National Football League.
The Kansas City Chiefs locked up their star on Monday, signing Super Bowl MVP quarterback in Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year contract extension worth over $400 million.
While nobody envies a team having to put that much of their salary cap each year into one player, what that investment represents certainly justifies jealousy. Every team would likely take Mahomes over their starting quarterback.
For the Buffalo Bills, this record-setting, historic contract hits a little closer to home.
As many have been reminded consistently throughout the last two years of dominant play from Mahomes, Buffalo traded their 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Chiefs, who would then take the Texas Tech product to be their franchise quarterback. The Bills had just re-signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but they were expected to take a quarterback with their first pick within a draft class or two. Taking Mahomes would have made plenty of sense.
That offseason, owner Terry Pegula had been traveling with the team to work out some of the best quarterback prospects in the class. There were even rumors coming from CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora that Pegula was enamored with Mahomes, and former general manager Doug Whaley passing on him was the last straw before getting fired.
The organization justifies the decision now by saying head coach Sean McDermott had just been hired, and his staff hadn’t been together long enough to be ready to make a franchise-altering decision like selecting Mahomes.
Even in hindsight, preferring the 2018 class over 2017 is understandable. The excuse that McDermott and the organization wasn’t ready to make such an important decision? That is hard to get behind.
There have been plenty of rookie head coaches that didn’t shy away from attaching their career to a rookie quarterback in their first season. Former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera did back in 2011 with Cam Newton. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson did with Carson Wentz in 2016. Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury just recently did so with Kyler Murray last year.
Sure, making that decision without a staff you hired is reasonable. The problem with that is the fact that in the first place, the Bills had a general manager and scouting department running their draft that would get fired shortly after.
Without Mahomes, McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane still have the Bills in great shape heading into 2020. Their roster is one of the most talented in the league, and Josh Allen has everything he needs to take a big leap forward in his third season after leading Buffalo to a 10-6 record and a postseason berth in 2019.
Still, seeing the Chiefs so secure in having Mahomes under center that they would hand him a 10-year deal? Having a 24-year-old already accomplish this much in his career?
Patrick Mahomes’ resume is LEGENDARY @brgridiron
➖ Super Bowl champ
➖ Super Bowl MVP
➖ 2018 NFL MVP
➖ 2x Pro Bowl
➖ First-Team All-Pro
➖ 50 TDs in one season
➖ First QB with three 10-point comebacks in one postseason
➖ Biggest contract in NFL history
➖ He’s 24 years old pic.twitter.com/cgyeubW4Bd
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 6, 2020
It is hard not think about what could have been.
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