The Chicago Bears and Mitchell Trubisky will forever be linked to both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. However, Mahomes’ new contract should not haunt Ryan Pace or Bears fans.
When we look at the 2017 NFL Draft, many will say that Ryan Pace cost himself his job that day. Moving up to take Mitchell Trubisky second overall and ahead of both Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes had some scratching their heads. This debate has been ongoing for far too long now and well, it is time to move on — especially the Chicago Bears.
For those who still want to argue, the Mahomes argument is much weaker than the Watson one and well, I would also argue many other teams are upset they did not take Mahomes that year too. Looking back on that offseason though, Trubisky and Watson were most teams’ one and two with Mahomes third. Pace actually had Mahomes second on his board but went with Trubisky instead. Clearly, the Chiefs came out way ahead of the Chicago Bears on this one.
That said, these other teams also needed a quarterback. The 49ers lost to Mahomes in the Super Bowl this past season. Do you think they would rather have Mahomes over Jimmy Garappolo? I would suspect the answer is yes. What about other teams like the Bills who moved back from that pick in the trade with the Chiefs?
A case could be made for most of the teams that picked from second overall to 10th overall that year passing on Mahomes. Again, we are not here to keep kicking that dead horse though. Instead, let us discuss the Patrick Mahomes contract.
Patrick Mahomes has the most lucrative contract in all of sports
The Chiefs are potentially going to pay Mahomes half a billion dollars over the span of the 10-year deal. Mahomes has two years left on his contract and therefore, the extension does not really kick in until 2022. He will receive over $140 million in fully guaranteed money with guaranteed markers throughout the contract allowing him to earn up to $477 million. Beyond that, Mahomes also has incentives that could allow him to reach $503 million dollars.
Wow, talk about your generational wealth. To have earned that money, Mahomes earned the NFL MVP in 2018 despite failing to make a Super Bowl run. He backed that award up in 2021 though as the Chiefs came back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the 49ers and win the 2019 Super Bowl. That sealed the deal for Mahomes and I am not arguing if he deserves that money or not. It seems the deal is structured nicely for the Chiefs if something were to happen to Mahomes.
Then why am I saying Chicago Bears fans and Ryan Pace should not be haunted by this contract. Well, quite frankly, even though it is structured nicely, the team is going to struggle to retain or bring in top talents to pair with Mahomes. Good drafting could solve this problem, but not every pick will be a grand slam like Mahomes.
With the Bears’ current salary cap situation, the team would have struggled to make a contract like Mahomes’ contract work. The Chiefs are likely counting on multiple salary cap increases. Had Mitchell Trubisky played well in 2019, I still do not foresee the Chicago Bears committing to even half of what Mahomes’ contract is worth.
Therefore, if you want to be haunted, focus on the fact Mahomes has been phenomenal and brought a ring to the Chiefs. Be haunted by the fact the Chiefs found their franchise quarterback and locked him in for years to come while the Chicago Bears are still in search of one.
These things are worth being haunted about but beyond that, seeing a contract like this should not haunt Bears fans. I would be happy finding a guy to pay $140 million dollars to over four years like Russell Wilson and honestly I like that type of contract more I think — even with all the outs in place for the Chiefs. With cap inflation, I would even go as high as $240 million over six years for the right quarterback. Time will tell if the Bears will ever find that guy.