This is why you don’t do team-friendly deals

This is why you don’t do team-friendly deals


The Mahomes-Hill Express is no more.
Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Mahomes was duped.

At the time that Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs’ superstar quarterback, signed his historic half-billion dollar contract, some praised him for not taking all the market-value money he deserved.

There was a narrative that Mahomes signed a team-friendly contract to help the Chiefs keep his teammates together so they could win at a dynasty level.

They were coming off a Super Bowl victory in 2020, and many believed they wouldn’t be beaten. That’s how much of a machine the franchise appeared to be.

Fast forward to Wednesday.

Not only have the Chiefs not won another Super Bowl since then, they are now starting to lose pieces from the team that was supposed to stay together because Mahomes gave the Chiefs an ill-fated hometown discount.

Enter Tyreek Hill.

Like a car on the street in New Jersey, he’s gone!

After the Chiefs refused to pay Mahomes’ biggest — and most important — weapon, Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a boatload of picks. The Chiefs got five draft picks: a 2022 first-rounder (29), a second-rounder (No.50) and a fourth-rounder, plus fourth- and sixth-round picks in next year’s draft.

But the Dolphins got the big prize. Hill is a six-time Pro-Bowl receiver.

For sure, Hill was able to make Mahomes one of the most dangerous quarterbacks because of his speed and ability to get downfield for game-changing big plays.

Since Mahomes became the Chiefs’ starting QB, he had linked up with Hill for 41 touchdowns, the second-most by a QB-receiver duo in that time.

Hill being sent packing wasn’t supposed to be the game plan. The Chiefs were supposed to be the Rolling Stones, playing together for years. But now they look more like The Supremes.

That’s why players have to stop with the notion of doing things to help the franchise do its business.

It makes no sense.

Plus, you can’t control what other players want to do with their careers long-term. And ultimately, teams will do what’s best for the organization.

Sure, the goal is to win. But a team almost always wants to win on its terms since ownership controls the pursestrings.

Say what you want about Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he took his market valve and got every penny. He didn’t worry about anyone or situation other than his own.

There could have been a conversation that Rodgers takes less to make sure there was enough left over for All-World receiver Davante Adams.

Rodgers got his and the Pack tried to tie up Adams, too. Despite being offered more money to stay in GB, Adams wanted out so he could be reunited with his college quarterback, Derek Carr, in Las Vegas.

Moral of the story: Don’t worry about the team’s finances or try to figure out what your teammates want to do with their lives and careers.

Coming off back-to-back MVP awards, Rodgers should have been the highest-paid QB in the league.

And his new deal — a three-year, $150-million contract with all guaranteed money — makes him the highest-paid at $50.272 million per. Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns’ new QB, is second at $46 million. Mahomes, who is way younger than Rodgers and has achieved a ton more than Watson, is third at $45 million.

For sure, Mahomes was naive to believe that taking less was going to mean he was going to have a chance to win not just one title, but maybe three or four Super Bowls in a row.

Rightly so, Hill wasn’t going to take less to stick around and hope that the Chiefs win more Super Bowls.

Hill’s approach was spot on. He wanted to get paid — even if it meant going to an AFC team that doesn’t look to be in the championship mix despite him being on the roster.

But Hill, with a Super Bowl ring in his back pocket, got a four-year contract extension worth $120 million ($72 million is guaranteed).

This should be a lesson to NFL players moving forward. You should be selfish and only worry about yourself.

You can’t control what the franchise will do after it signs you. You can’t get teammates to follow your plan, especially when it doesn’t include them getting cashed out.

Hill had to have a big smile on his face after his trade. And Mahomes probably had egg on his.



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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.