NFL

Patrick Mahomes extension: Which quarterbacks could be next for a huge NFL payday?

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020

Patrick Mahomes has signed a sensational 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The quarterback agreed a deal reportedly worth $503million with the Super Bowl champions, with $477m in guaranteed mechanisms, keeping him tied to the franchise through the 2031 season, when he will be 35.

The NFL MVP in 2018 and Super Bowl MVP in 2019, Mahomes was always expected to reset the QB market when he signed a new deal this offseason.

But for him to sign the richest contract in North American professional sports history on such a long contract was a huge development.

While it will likely see him sit top of the league's salary chart for many years to come, his new deal would have been music to the ears for some of the other QBs nearing a negotiating window.

Here, we look at those who also could be in line for a huge payday.
 

Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans

The man drafted just two spots below Mahomes at number 12 in 2017, Deshaun Watson, has ended years of quarterback woe in Houston.

Two consecutive AFC South crowns and a first playoff win last year have highlighted his credentials, with Mahomes and the Chiefs ultimately stopping the Texans in the divisional round in 2019.

Mahomes is second all time for yards-per-attempt among quarterbacks with at least 1,000 attempts and Watson is an impressive fifth on that list, averaging over eight YPA.

Dual threat Watson has 71 touchdowns to 29 interceptions in 38 career games, plus 1,233 yards and a further 14 scores on the ground.

The Texans are desperate to retain him and Mahomes' deal means the price-tag just went up, although the loss of number one target DeAndre Hopkins means the new season may prove to be more challenging.


Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott is in the midst of a long contract negotiation with the Dallas Cowboys which dates back to last year.

He has signed the franchise tag which is due to see him play the 2020 season on a one-year pact worth $31m, unless a long-term deal can be struck before the deadline. 

Prescott enjoyed a superb statistical season in 2019, throwing for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns to just 11 picks.

The 26-year-old will be eyeing similar production this year after the team retained wide receiver Amari Cooper and added CeeDee Lamb to the mix.

But whether he deserves top-tier QB money is a subject that divides opinion, as the Cowboys have only won one playoff game since he was drafted in 2016, while his career record in games decided by three points or fewer is just 7-7.
 

Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens

One player who may be on a similar trajectory to Mahomes is Lamar Jackson, who has been revolutionising the QB position with his rushing ability.

He won the NFL MVP in 2019, rushing for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns and just six picks through the air as part of an offense that is tailored to his strengths.

Having only played two seasons, he still is one year away from being eligible to receive a contract extension on his rookie deal.

After the Baltimore Ravens were shocked by the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, Jackson will be aiming to follow the path of Mahomes in winning the Super Bowl the year after being named MVP.

If he does that, a life-changing deal surely awaits, though the standard he set last year will be very hard to repeat.
 

Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield was picked atop the same 2018 draft that saw the Ravens get incredible value to land Jackson at number 32.

The Cleveland Browns QB faces a huge third season in the NFL, one which will determine whether or not he will be seen as the franchise's future.

An excellent rookie season saw him earn a 93.7 QB rating, prompting the Browns to surround him with talent including receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry, plus Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb.

But a sophomore slump saw him throw 21 picks as the team failed to live up to high expectations, slumping to 6-10, with Mayfield's QB rating dropping to 78.8.

In response, the Browns fired their head coach, bolstered a poor offensive line and assembled another impressive array of weapons around him for 2020.

Mayfield therefore has the opportunity to bounce back and earn a big contract, but if he does not produce, there will be fewer excuses available this time around.

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