When you have just played the most significant part in your franchise landing their first Super Bowl win in more than 50 years, you can bet your bottom dollar that a mega-money pay rise is coming your way…if it doesn’t, then something is going seriously wrong behind the scenes.
So just put yourself in the shoes of Patrick Mahomes when he took the call from the Kansas City Chiefs recently telling him he was being offered a ten-year contract extension worth a cool $503 million (roughly £400 million).
Those mind-boggling numbers are hard to compute for a multinational corporation, let alone an NFL quarterback, but it is clear that the Chiefs want to future-proof themselves. Indeed, Mahomes himself has spoken of building a dynasty at the franchise, and they are already the favourites in the Super Bowl LV NFL odds on bet365 at a price of +700.
Kansas City, we’re just getting started. This is home. 📍⏰ pic.twitter.com/9a1WMO6ra2
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 8, 2020
At just 24, Mahomes has already won both the NFL MVP seasonal award and the same trophy for the Super Bowl match, and his average passing yards per game rate is the highest in the competition’s history. He has an extraordinary range of passes, and as Jason Bell wrote in his column the deal is “supply and demand in its simplest form.”
At £40 million a season, Mahomes could yet work out to be a bargain – get your head around, but for now let’s see where his new-found wealth stacks up on the list of the highest paid NFL players of all time:
Eli Manning (£200 million)
Given that the previous highest-paid NFL star banked around £200 million in his career, it is clear that – in a decade’s time – Patrick Mahomes will be the richest man in the sport’s history.
But Eli Manning deserves his accolade as the second richest, and what might make that even sweeter (not that he would admit it publicly) is that the two-time Super Bowl winner actually overtook his own brother at the top of the rankings.
The former New York Giants man secured top spot when he signed his final £67 million contract extension to take him through to retirement in 2019.
Peyton Manning (£197 million)
As one of the greatest quarterbacks in history, it’s no major surprise that Peyton Manning was able to turn his on-field prowess into bank balance glory.
The older brother of Eli took the Colts to their first Super Bowl triumph in more than three decades, and left behind a legacy of eight divisional titles and two AFC Championship victories too.
Following up at Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos, Manning was a five-time NFL MVP who still holds the record for most passing yards in a single season to this day.
Drew Brees (£194 million)
While he has never publicly confirmed as much, many NFL insiders expect the 2020 season to be Drew Brees’ last before retirement.
And what a legacy the 41-year-old leaves behind – he holds the all-time passing yards record in the NFL, and has served up five 5,000+ yard seasons, another accolade that will take some matching.
The Saints man – a Super Bowl winner and MVP in the Vince Lombardi Trophy match – has made it work for his accountant too, banking just shy of £200 million in an outstanding career.
Tom Brady (£187 million)
Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady’s loyalty to the New England Patriots arguably cost him a huge contract at another franchise.
That’s not to say he wasn’t well rewarded by his employer, banking north of £187 million in a glittering 20-year tenure at the Patriots.
A two-year deal worth £40 million guaranteed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers only adds further heft to Brady’s wallet, and who knows maybe the six-time Super Bowl champion has more magic in his locker for a couple more seasons still.
But it is Mahomes who tops the list of American football’s richest players by a considerable margin.