Buyer beware? Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes hope to buck trend of bad 10-year contracts

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Patrick Mahomes hopes to break the cycle of bad 10-year NFL contracts.

The Kansas City Chiefs just made Patrick Mahomes the richest man in the NFL.

Though he earned every penny of that record-setting contract, signing a 10-year contract has not always been a great thing in the history of the NFL. In fact, it’s been a largely terrible idea. ESPN’s Adam Schefter who broke the news of Mahomes’ 10-year extension later tweeted out four other star quarterbacks who got at least 10-year deals and how that worked out. It’s far from great.

Schefter pointed out that Donovan McNabb signed a 12-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002, Brett Favre signed a ‘lifetime’ contract with the Green Bay Packers in 2001, Drew Bledsoe signed a 10-year deal with the New England Patriots in 2001 and Michael Vick signed a 10-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons in 2004. None made it with their team for more than eight seasons.

Will Patrick Mahomes learn from the mistakes of the 10-year contract club?

Of those four quarterbacks listed by Schefter, McNabb’s extension proved the most fruitful. He made five trips to the Pro Bowl from 2002 on, led the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2004 and has his No. 5 jersey retired by Philadelphia. However, he fell off a cliff in 2010 after leaving the Eagles for the rival Washington Redskins. He was out of the league two years later.

Favre is the only Pro Football Hall of Famer of this bunch. He played seven more seasons with the Packers after inking the ‘lifetime’ contract. He made four more Pro Bowls and was Second-Team All-Pro in 2007. However, he was replaced by Aaron Rodgers in 2008 via the 2005 NFL Draft. Only until very recently have Favre and the Packer organization been on good terms.

While McNabb and Favre earned a good bit of their massive contracts, we can’t say the same for Bledsoe or Vick. Bledsoe succumbed to injury in the first year of his 10-year deal with the Patriots in 2001. His injury gave way to Tom Brady taking over for him, and the rest is history. Though he did find some success with the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys, Bledsoe retired in 2007.

And then there’s Vick. The former star dual-threat quarterback in Atlanta made two more Pro Bowls with the Falcons after inking the 2004 10-year extension. After making it to the 2004 NFC Championship game, things spiraled out of control for Vick.

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He was sentenced to prison for his ring in a dogfighting scandal in 2007. Vick was released by the Falcons in 2008 before re-inventing himself in Philadelphia as McNabb’s short-term successor. While Favre is in Canton, McNabb, Bledsoe and Vick are likely to forever stay in the Hall of Very Good. Mahomes is only entering his fourth NFL season, so he has time on his side with this deal.

If Mahomes can learn from McNabb, Favre, Bledsoe and Vick, he’ll be in great shape for this decade.