Florio: Mahomes' contract is ‘almost criminal’
Clark Hunt acknowledged Patrick Mahomes always will be underpaid, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms spell out why that doesn’t justify the Chiefs’ decision and how it’s “an embarrassment to everyone involved.”
MIKE FLORIO: Clark Hunt addressed, over the weekend, the challenge of properly compensating the best player in the NFL by far and the guy who ranks 10th, probably now 11th in three-year cash flow as quarterback contracts go, Patrick Mahomes. Here's Hunt talking about how to determine the value in the contract of his star quarterback.
CLARK HUNT: I don't know that there's really a way to quantify it financially. And no matter what he makes over his career, I'm sure, one way or another, he'll be underpaid. The great thing about Patrick is, when we did that deal, he recognized that he wanted to give the club the flexibility to build the team around him. And that contract was structured in that way.
We're only 1 year into a 10-year contract, so there's a long ways to go. But I think what Patrick cared most about was winning. And he certainly has been able to do a lot of that. Brett Veach has had enough flexibility to be able to add quality players each year. And that's part of the reason why we were able to lift the Lombardi Trophy again.
MIKE FLORIO: Now, look, I have a ton of respect for Clark Hunt-- one of the best owners in the league, great tradition. They're doing some great things there. But they're not one year into a 10-year deal. They're three years into a 12-year deal. Extensions don't work the way that so many people think, and Clark knows that.
He did a 12-year contract three years ago. They are three years into it. The cash flow for the first three years was something like $68 million. For Aaron Rodgers, the first three year's cash flow under his current deal, $150 million. For Jalen Hurts, it's between $105 and $110 million.
Patrick Mahomes is getting the short end of the stick here, and they benefit from the fact that Mahomes is a nice guy. He's a guy who's compliant. He's a guy who's just going to take it and deal with it and smile. How could you smile when you look at that graphic?
3-year cash flow under contract. 3-year cash flow-- he is woefully behind guys that he is significantly better than, period. Matthew Stafford-- very old, 35. I know he won the Super Bowl. I know Ramsey, you got what you want. But you're paying him $120 million over three years of his contract.
CHRIS SIMMS: It doesn't matter who you say on the list.
MIKE FLORIO: Mahomes is getting half that. Mahomes is getting half that. Pick any of those names.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right. It's all ridiculous.
MIKE FLORIO: Mahomes is getting half. He's almost getting a third of Aaron Rodgers-- a third. Look, someone said to me last week-- and I don't want to get into a fight with agents here, but it's almost criminal what-- what Mahomes' representation did taking that deal.
And what I was told was, they wanted to be able to say, we got the first half-billion dollar contract. It's worth $500 million. Well, if you do it for long enough, it's going to be. Remember when that happened? I said, I'm happy to announce I have a half-billion dollar contract with NBC, and it expires 5,000 years from now.
I mean, you can-- you can sign a half-billion dollar contract. That's fine. But if it's the rest of his career as the market keeps going up and the salary cap keeps going up, who cares that it's a half-billion dollar contract?
CHRIS SIMMS: No.
MIKE FLORIO: And then you have the people who say, oh, how's he ever going to live on that? That's not the point. The point is, is he getting his fair share for what he means? And Clark Hunt's right. He always will be underpaid. That doesn't justify grossly underpaying him, though.
Well, you know what? Yeah, he's underpaid. He always will be underpaid. So what are we going to do? He's always going to be underpaid. He's grossly underpaid. He's criminally underpaid. And they're lucky that-- hey, maybe after a night at the Met Gala, maybe that's the moment that the light goes on for Patrick Mahomes.
I know that happened to Julio Jones late in his career. He started hobnobbing with billionaires, and he realized, I don't have many more years to make the kind of money that allows me to keep hobnobbing with billionaires. I better get more money from the Falcons. That really happened.
And Mahomes hanging around that crowd, he may realize, I'm getting screwed here. And if he does, Chiefs got a problem. Chiefs better be ready to write a check. They already are overdue on that check that they need to write this kid.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, the graphic is laughable, like you said. It is. I mean, really-- I mean, Josh Allen, who's above him, he's got a-- he's got a gripe that's legitimate. You'd go, damn, that's underpaid, too. But that's significantly more than what Mahomes is making.
MIKE FLORIO: Hey, Chris, at least the Chiefs are spending that excess money on making the team better.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, I hear you.
MIKE FLORIO: Josh Allen's like John Travolta, the GIF from "Pulp Fiction," looking around. Where is everybody? Where's all the players with all the money I've left behind?
CHRIS SIMMS: Right. Right. No, I hear you. He definitely has some gripe there-- or there's something to gripe about. I don't know. Does it get to a point where it gets so bad and such a bad look that even the Chiefs and Mahomes, you're like, wait, wait, wait, hold on. We got to do something here. This is ridiculous, right?
Or is he just-- maybe he doesn't care. And maybe he's just content. And like we talked about last week a little bit, he's simple. He's legacy. He knows he can make as much money as he wants off the field. And maybe he's taken the route like Michael Jordan, who never really got paid by the Chicago Bulls until his last three years of his career with them.
I don't know. But, yeah, it's crazy, Mike. It is. They're lucky as hell. They got a horseshoe up their you know what with having a guy like Mahomes as their starting quarterback. Because, again, this is different than Tom Brady taking less or whatever else. Brady was squeezed by the team.
This is-- like you said, this is the best player on that list, period. And he's at the bottom of the list, and he's in his prime. And he's by far-- and he's in his prime, and he's still going upwards. And he's by far the most popular guy in the sport right now. So that's where I wonder, at some point, if even the Chiefs get a little antsy and, of course, Mahomes' representation.
MIKE FLORIO: There's a point where it's an embarrassment to everyone involved--
CHRIS SIMMS: That's what I'm saying.
MIKE FLORIO: --to everyone involved.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right. Right. Right.
MIKE FLORIO: This guy is the best player in the NFL right now by far. He is generational, transformational. He is a great human being, great ambassador for the sport, great ambassador for the team, great ambassador for anybody that he's connected to in any way, shape, or form. And he's being taken advantage of. They're taking advantage of his good nature.
It's wrong. It's wrong. And I'd love to sit down and talk to him for 15 minutes about life and about where-- not that he needs my advice. But, Patrick, you're getting screwed. And at some point, Patrick, you got to stand up for yourself because what's happening to you is wrong.
I guess I'm not going to get Brett Veach scheduled this week for the postdraft GM interview.
CHRIS SIMMS: You're screwed. You're screwed.
MIKE FLORIO: But I don't care. And let me tell you something. Let me tell you something else. When I wrote the story last week about how the Mahomes' three-year cash flow is just so ridiculously bad and how he needs a good deal-- a new deal-- the people who get pissed off are the Chiefs fans because they want serenity now. They don't want anything to upset the apple cart.
And they don't care about whether or not Patrick Mahomes is properly compensated. They just don't want it to be an issue. They want everything to be fine. Who cares? He's making enough. How much is he making? He's making enough. It's fine.
He doesn't want anymore. It doesn't matter that he's getting screwed. It doesn't matter that he's being taken advantage of by the team, by the league, by everyone. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.
It does matter. It's just wrong. To have a guy who brings that much to the table who isn't getting his fair share is wrong. And it needs to change A-S-A-M-F-P.
CHRIS SIMMS: I hear you.
MIKE FLORIO: You can figure that out.
CHRIS SIMMS: Trust me. I know.
MIKE FLORIO: You know what I'm saying?
CHRIS SIMMS: I got it figured it out. Thanks there, slugger. Yeah, I got it. [LAUGHS] Now, there is a point where it starts to look not right for the league, Chiefs, Mahomes, any of that. I don't know if we're there yet.
MIKE FLORIO: We're at that point. We're there.
CHRIS SIMMS: It might be--
MIKE FLORIO: That graphic-- put the graphic up.
CHRIS SIMMS: The graphic is there.
MIKE FLORIO: We're there.
CHRIS SIMMS: But I think what's going to be even more egg in the face is when, like, Burrow and Herbert get done this year, and then we have to move Mahomes off the graphic.
MIKE FLORIO: He's gonna be number 13.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right. We're going to have to make a two-level graphic--
MIKE FLORIO: He's already off the graphic. Lamar Jackson's not on there.
CHRIS SIMMS: --to get him on there. Right. We're going to have to make two columns to get the best player of the sport in the graphic. And that's where, yes, it does get a little weird. I'm with you there. I am. I don't know where that fine line's met.
MIKE FLORIO: There's no way-- there's no way Lamar Jackson's cash flow for three years is less than $63 million. So Patrick's already off the graphic.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah. You're right.
MIKE FLORIO: He's already on page 2 of the graphic. He's number 11, and he's falling. It's beyond me. Look, look, I-- I'm not trying to cause trouble here. I'm trying to make sure what's right gets done. Surely, the Chiefs can afford to pay this guy more money. They should. They have an obligation to do it.
I mean, at some point-- talking about the "con artists--" at some point, don't you feel guilty if you're the Chiefs? Don't you feel bad that, we got-- look at this. Like, something's not right here. We got the best player in the NFL by far, and we're not paying him anything close to what these other quarterbacks are getting. And nobody's saying anything about it? The kid's fine with it.
Hey. Hey, Florio. Shut up. Florio, stop talking about it. It's fine. Everything's fine. This is fine. Anyway, I just can't believe it. I can't believe it. And at a certain point, it becomes an embarrassment that Mahomes is going along with it. At a certain point, somebody's going to say, what's wrong with Patrick Mahomes that he's not demanding more? Something's wrong here.
And you know what happens? When that occurs, he'll get defensive, and then he won't want more. He'll double down. No, no, this is a fine contract. This is a fair contract. I knew what I signed. I don't want more.
CHRIS SIMMS: OK. Well, what I want to say is, like, nobody said those things about Brady, right? Nobody was getting on him about it.
MIKE FLORIO: I did. I did.
CHRIS SIMMS: You did.
MIKE FLORIO: I said he was suppressing the whole market.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, well, he definitely was.
MIKE FLORIO: He was suppressing the whole market for all these other quarterbacks.
CHRIS SIMMS: Well, yeah, he let the Patriots bully him for a number of years. Listen, I think he got to a point in his career at one point where he wasn't sure how good he was. He needed the Patriots a little bit more. And then he got rolling again, like we talked about yesterday-- 2014, 2015-- and then he started to go, hey, I'm the man, and then he started wanting to be paid again.
But, yeah. I don't know. And like I said, I think Mahomes-- I said this last week. I think Mahomes, I think they're a simple family. I think they are. That doesn't necessarily make it right. Don't get me wrong. But at the same time--
MIKE FLORIO: "Simple" has multiple meanings.
CHRIS SIMMS: I know.
MIKE FLORIO: You can stray from one sort of simple to another sort of simple if you allow this to go on too long.
CHRIS SIMMS: I hear you. I hear you.
MIKE FLORIO: That's my point.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yep, I got you. So the Chiefs, they got some things on their table here.
MIKE FLORIO: At some point, it's on him-- at some point, it's on him to stand up and say, hey, guys, this is wrong. You're making me look bad here. Well, I mean, it's like the bookie who drives a beat up piece of crap. Like, you better drive a real car if you're going to be taken seriously or they're going to think they can get one over on you.
It's the lawyer like "Better Call Saul." He was driving around a car with a mismatched door. I mean, a real lawyer's got to drive a car that is befitting to the profession so they take you seriously.
It's like we said when-- remember when Philip Rivers got $25 million from the Colts the same year Drew Brees got $25 million from the Saints and Tom Brady got $25 million from the Buccaneers? I said Philip Rivers should be wearing a ski mask the entire season.
But the idea is, we got to-- he's our starting quarterback. We got to pay him accordingly. We can't let him drive around in a jalopy. We got to pay him like a starting quarterback. So it's kind of like that.
Now, I mean, no one's going to look differently at Mahomes-- the guy or the player. And this is kind of a nuanced point. But at a certain point, it gets so glaring it's going to start to gain momentum. And people are going to start to say, something is dramatically wrong with this picture.
And I'm serious about it. After--
CHRIS SIMMS: I think we're getting close.
MIKE FLORIO: Hanging out last night at the Met Gala, that could be the moment where he says, hey, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. These are my prime earning years, and I'm laying the foundation for whatever I'm going to be once I'm done playing football. And every dollar I make now that I can bank and that I can invest, it's going to build on itself and build on itself.
I can't leave-- I can't leave meat on the bone here. This is about what I'm trying to build down the road. This is the foundation for what I'm trying to build. At some point, that light's going to go off for him. And I don't know. Maybe being at the Met Gala last night will be the thing that did it.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah. The Chiefs got-- they got some work cut out. I mean, you're right. This is always going to be percolating. And I think you're right. As time goes on, Mike, I don't disagree. With Burrow and Herbert contract, if that gets done here in the next month or two or anything like that, I think it's going to shine more of a light on this situation.
I will be interested to see what he does as it becomes more of a-- more pressure and more of a talking point. And then you add in the Chris Jones conversation with the Chiefs, too, they got a few problems here or a few things to worry about at least. Not everything's perfect.