How much of Patrick Mahomes' contract is fully guaranteed? Analyzing whether Chiefs QB's payday could be reference for Lamar Jackson

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on a 12-year, $480 million contract signed in 2020.

This contract was the longest and most lucrative in NFL history at the time of signing, sending shockwaves around the league. Per terms of the contract, Mahomes will get $477 million in 'guarantee mechanisms' over the deal's life.

This structure creates a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option for the Chiefs around 2025 and beyond. Mahomes' money becomes fully guaranteed, as Peliserro put it, "a year or two before (it's) due."

That means the Chiefs could move on from Mahomes after the 2026 season, as his cap number will be nearly $60 million in 2027, but that 2027 cap number would have already been guaranteed the previous year.

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That creates a system where the Chiefs could release Mahomes without paying out the total value of his contract (which would be the case if the deal was fully guaranteed). However, because of the "guarantee mechanisms," Mahomes would still make his salary for the first year that the Chiefs would play without him.

Should Patrick Mahomes' payday be reference for Lamar Jackson?

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is at a crossroads in his career. He has requested a trade from the Ravens due to a refusal to pay him what he's worth, but the question is, what exactly is Lamar Jackson worth?

To answer that question, we should look at Patrick Mahomes' bumper 12-year, $480 million contract, which will earn Mahomes $45 million annually. Moreover, Josh Allen makes $43 million yearly, while Dak Prescott makes $40 million. So where should Jackson fall?

Lamar Jackson should earn around the $43 million a year figure that Josh Allen currently does. He's arguably a better player when fit than Allen, with the only caveat being that he has a lengthy injury history. Furthermore, Mahomes is the only QB around Jackson's age bracket with more regular season MVP awards, so why should non-MVP QBs get paid better than the 2019 unanimous league MVP?

So yes, Patrick Mahomes' bumper payday should be a reference for Jackson's. Unfortunately, the Baltimore Ravens do not think so, and that's why Jackson is shopping for a team that will pay him what he's worth.

Who is the better quarterback, Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson?

Patrick Mahomes is a better quarterback than Lamar Jackson, not just Jackson, but Mahomes is arguably the best-shot caller in the NFL currently.

Mahomes was electric in the 2022 season, with the Kansas City Chiefs shot caller posting video game stats all season. He put up a stat line of 5,250 passing yards (first in the league), 41 passing touchdowns (first in the league), 12 interceptions and a league-best 77.6 QBR. He also led the Kansas City Chiefs to their second Super Bowl win in four years, winning both the regular season MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards.

Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson had a solid but unspectacular 2022 NFL season. He led the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs with a stat line of 2,242 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a QBR of 59.1. He helped his team to the playoffs but missed their Wildcard Game loss with an injury, a game that looks set to be his last game as a Raven.

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Edited by Bhargav