The Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is okay with not being the highest-paid QB anymore

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is okay with not being the highest-paid QB anymore

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — From the day in 2020 that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed his 10-year, $450 million contract extension that made him the NFL’s highest-paid player by average salary made, he knew the distinction wouldn’t last forever.

Sure enough, deals signed by Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson this year dropped him to fourth on the list. Mahomes said he not only anticipates this development but agrees with it.

“When I signed my deal, I knew I would be hired for life regardless of the market [went]Mahomes said Friday while reporting for Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University. “You just keep playing. Money is one thing, but if you get those Super Bowl rings at the end of your career, I think that’s going to be the thing you look back on. I think I’ve made enough money off the football field and away from it too that at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.

“Especially at the quarterback position, the next guy is the highest paid guy. Each of these top-notch quarterbacks makes such a difference on NFL football teams [older contracts are] will be passed.”

Mahomes said he expects the $45 million average salary from his renewals to drop even further down the ladder once quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson sign renewals with their teams.

“You’re going to keep raising the bar,” Mahomes said. “You always want to get paid and take care of your family, but I also want a great team around me.”

The Chiefs begin Saturday with a three-day camp for quarterbacks and rookies. Other veterans report Monday and full-squad training camp begins Wednesday.

The Chiefs will likely start training camp without their non-signed franchise player, left tackle Orlando Brown. The Chiefs and Brown were unable to agree on a multi-year deal as of last week, so his only option to play with the team this season is to accept a one-year, $16.6 million deal.

“I talk to Orlando all the time,” Mahomes said. “Me and he have a great relationship. Obviously we wanted to close the deal, I’m sure he wanted to close the deal. … I’m happy that he’s here and that he’s part of the team again.

“When he wasn’t there [offseason practice] he asked me questions. He watched movies, he did everything when he [returns] he’s ready to go… Obviously things haven’t worked out the way he wanted for him this off-season but when he gets here I’m sure he’ll be ready and he’ll go out there showing the caliber of player he is again.”

Mahomes said he wasn’t sure about Brown’s plans for the training camp.

“You want him to be here just because he’s the guy he is and he’s a leader on this football team,” Mahomes said. “But at the same time, when it comes to money and contracts and things like that, I don’t force anyone to do everything because I know they’re trying to support their family for the long term. But as a teammate and as a friend, you want him to be a part of it.”

The Chiefs have several candidates to replace Brown, although none are as successful at left tackle. Coach Andy Reid suggested the Chiefs would look at left guard Joe Thuney, who was used well in left tackle in place of the injured Brown in a game last season.

“We know Joe Thuney can do it in the blink of an eye,” Reid said. “If we have to go in this direction, we go in this direction.”

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