One sneaky important adjustment in Mahomes’s contract process could come in handy for the Chiefs in the future. The good news for the Kansas City Chiefs is that quarterback Patrick Mahomes is still under contract effectively through the end of the 2026 NFL season. The better news is that under his new deal, both he and the Chiefs should revisit another long-term pact before the 2027 campaign and Monday’s restructure created a potentially significant advantage for the team.
On Monday evening, Albert Breer of The MMQB dove into the new Mahomes contract, how it came to be and what it means for the immediate and long-term futures of the superstar quarterback and his franchise. One thing that stood out: the timing of Mahomes’s roster bonuses hitting.
In offseasons past, including 2023, the Chiefs had to decide during March whether they’d be dipping into the bank of Mahomes to gain some added cap relief ahead of ensuing offseason events such as free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft. General manager Brett Veach and company essentially had to make an educated guess on how much to do a short-term restructure for if they ultimately chose that path. Under the revised contract structure, that deadline is being pushed back to May, thus allowing for more wiggle room and real-time freedom:
As for the player-team partnership here, Mahomes and the Chiefs agreed to push the roster bonus dates back to May, allowing the team to wait on how to structure the coming year’s money until after free agency and the draft. That, long-term, will give the team more flexibility to be creative in acquiring veterans to put around Mahomes (those roster bonuses were previously due in March, and all have guarantees attached, which makes when Mahomes earns them less relevant).
This advantage for the team is a major one, and Mahomes also gets some benefits with the updated structure of his contract. Not only does he get an increase in cash flow over the next handful of years, but he also has escalators in the deal that will trigger if he hits certain benchmarks. Per Breer’s article, there’s a path to several more million dollars coming his way if he continues to reach the pinnacle of the sport in the near future:
Finally, there are escalators that are doable because, well, it’s Mahomes. He gets an extra $1.25 million tacked on to his base salary for a Super Bowl win, and an extra $1.25 million for winning the AP MVP award and making the conference title game. He’s hit those markers twice each which, applied to the new deal, would add up to another $5 million on his deal.
All in all, this is a hat-tip from the Chiefs to their star quarterback. With that said, it’s also one that comes with a serious plus for the team as well. For Mahomes, he’s getting more money up front and the original expectation that he will be a Chief for years and years to come remains. (Both sides could simply iron out a new extension in 2026.) For Kansas City, the roster bonus deadline getting moved back a couple of months helps provide more clarity and flexibility in offseason decision-making. Veach and his staff have been creative in their contract structures as of late — including defensive tackle Chris Jones’s deal — and this is yet another example of that.