Will Patrick Mahomes sign a team-friendly deal with the Chiefs?

Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes is in line for a contract that will break every record, but could he wind up signing a team-friendly deal?

With a regular-season MVP in his first full season as a starter and a Super Bowl win (and Super Bowl MVP) in his second, Patrick Mahomes has had an unprecedented start to his career. He is eligible to sign a contract extension, and talk is shifting toward talk of unprecedented money.

The Chiefs have Mahomes under their control for 2020 and ’21, with the inevitability they’ll pick up his fifth-year option if only as a matter of formal procedure. But an agreement on a new deal is looming, perhaps after the draft per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

As Mahomes lines up to set a new bar financially, and maybe stay there as some other quarterbacks get new deals too, $40 million per year and $150 million in guaranteed money have been the numbers thrown out there. And no one would say the Chiefs overpaid if Mahomes winds up getting those figures in his new deal.

But what if Mahomes decided he didn’t need to be made the highest-paid player in NFL history when he inks that contract? Is if possible he takes a team-friendly deal, with an eye on the Chiefs being able to keep prominent pieces of an annual Super Bowl contender in place more easily?

Fortunately, there are a couple very prominent examples to look to.

Tom Brady has continually taken less money, or more specifically restructured his contract to lower his cap hit and allow the New England Patriots to add and keep talent. Six Super Bowl rings, and two other close calls that would have made it eight, stand as the argument for the team-friendly deal route. As Brady gets ready to hit free agency for the first time in his career, he may be ready to cash in somewhere other than New England.

Peyton Manning won two Super Bowls in his career. One came at the peak of his powers with the Indianapolis Colts, and one came in his final season as a greatly-diminished player with the Denver Broncos, with another Super Bowl appearance in between. But he also had the prevailing attitude that managing the salary cap was not his job.

One of the most prolific careers in league history with multiple Super Bowl rings is the argument for getting everything you can financially, to say nothing of the relatively short nature of NFL careers as a whole and factoring Manning’s neck injury into the equation for him personally.

Next: 5 best free agency fits for Philip Rivers

It’s unknown where Mahomes sits on that Brady to Manning scale. But until the numbers come out, Mahomes’ salary demands remain a mystery. Even at a relative bargain, he could reset the market.

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