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CRACKS OF DON: How will Chiefs afford to surround Mahomes with talent?

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

It seems important today to remember that Patrick Mahomes, who they say was good at everything he played, had a 96-m.p.h. fastball as a kid and was a 37th-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers.

And that while his dad, Pat Mahomes, and his godfather, LaTroy Hawkins, were big league pitchers — and Alex (A-Rod) Rodriguez tried to talk young Patrick to choose a career in baseball — Mahomes opted for football because he was intrigued by all he had to learn about the game.

It also seems important today to remember that nine players, including two quarterbacks, were drafted before Mahomes was selected in the 2017 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. And that the Chiefs moved up to do so by trading their first-round pick (27th overall), a third-round pick (91st), and their 2018 first-rounder to the Buffalo Bills.

Just three years later, both Mahomes’ career decision and the Chiefs’ moves to make him theirs are paying off in record numbers.

The rather complicated 10-year extension Mahomes signed with the Chiefs on Monday represents the richest payday in pro sports history. It has a reported value of up to $503 million that includes $477 million in what his agency, Steinberg Sports, calls “guarantee mechanisms and ability to have outs if guaranteed mechanisms aren’t exercised.”

So essentially they can cut him any offseason they want.

From ESPN’s Adam Schefter we also learned that there is an injury guarantee of $140 million and that, while Mahomes will still have a $2.8 million base salary in 2020 and will play 2021 under the terms of the Chiefs’ fifth-year option, which carries a $28.4 million salary.

That leaves $450 million in new money, starting in 2022 and going through the 2031 season, and it is not tied to a percentage of the cap.

In other words, with a $45 million stipend starting in three seasons, Mahomes may not even be the highest-paid quarterback in the league.

At the same time, Mahomes will have just turned 38 when he’s playing on his next contract, providing he does have another term left in him. Since turning 38, Tom Brady owns a 59-17 record and has won two Super Bowls.

Will Mahomes be a Chief for life?

When news of his monster contract broke, he tweeted “Here to stay” with a personal highlight video that included subtitles.

“Chiefs Kingdom,” it began. “You’ve been with me since the beginning — from rookie year to becoming a starter to the unconventional to doing whatever it takes to win to showdowns. You helped me come back from injury. You helped us come back from deficits, multiple deficits. You helped us overcome adversity to become Super Bowl champs. And we’re staying together … for a long time. We’re chasing a dynasty.”

He may catch it with the Chiefs, if they can still afford to field a good team around their quarterback down the road.

STOPS AND STARTS

Now the second-largest contract in pro sports history belongs to Angels outfielder/Eagles fan Mike Trout, who in 2019 signed a 12-year, $426,500,000 deal that by Mahomes standards almost looks like peanuts. Really big ones but still peanuts …. On Friday in this space I made the mistake of saying Eddie Shack is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. That was my carelessness. Multiple reports on Monday stated that the 83-year old former Ranger/Leaf/Bruin/King/Sabre/Penguin/Leaf again (1958-1975) had entered palliative care, but Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com tweeted that he has returned home to continue his valiant fight with cancer … Just when you’re getting excited that pro sports is making a return, FC Dallas is pulled from the MLS is Back tournament because 10 of its players and one coach tested positive for COVID-19 while in Orlando … On a positive note, as Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun mentioned, this is the first time in MLB history no team will be mathematically eliminated entering September.

ON THIS (July 7) DATE

Exactly 72 years ago, the Cleveland Indians stunned MLB by signing 42-year old pitcher Satchel Paige from the Negro Leagues. Page played two years with Cleveland, and three for the St. Louis Browns (with whom he was a two-time all-star) before retiring at the age of 46. He returned in 1965, at the age of 58, to make one start for the American League’s Kansas City Athletics. He pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one … Exactly 40 years ago, Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers announced his retirement and immediately stepped behind the team’s bench as head coach. Between the pipes, Cheevers had a 227-104-76 career regular season record and was 53-34 in the playoffs. As a coach, his teams were 204-126-46 during the regular season and made it to playoffs in each of his four full seasons, losing in the first round twice, the second round once and the third round once. Despite a solid career in both positions, “Cheesy” was most of all known for drawing stitches on his mask that he would had on his face if not for the protection … Exactly 28 years ago, the Detroit Red Wings signed free agent defenceman Mark Howe, allowing him to spend the final three seasons of his career with the team for which his legendary dad earned the nickname “Mr. Hockey.” … (By the way, did you know Mark Howe was a second-round pick (25th) overall of the Bruins in the 1974 NHL amateur draft? He never suited up for the B’s, choosing instead to play the first six seasons of his career in the WHA) … And a big shutout, umm, shoutout to our old friend Patrick Lalime, the former Penguins/Blues/Blackhawks/Sabres goalie, who is turning 46 years old.

FINISHING TOUCHES

If the NHL ratifies the new CBA, it will run through the 2025-26 season. Let’s hope we don’t need another pandemic to have them reach agreement without a lockout again … The subject of a solid feature by Postmedia’s Tim Baines on the weekend, former Redblacks centre Jon Gott has apparently applied for a job with Ottawa police. Somehow you just get the feeling he’d be a good cop … Just in case the heat wave isn’t making you feel a little older than usual, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr turns 80 today.

dbrennan@postmedia.com

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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