Mahomes’ New Contract and the Case for a 2023 Tank

 23 replies

I know what you’re thinking. We just signed the best quarterback in the NFL to a 10 year deal and I’m talking about tanking? Yes I am, kind of.

Now look, I’m not talking about trading away literally everybody and trying for a high draft pick like people usually think of when they hear the word “tank”. Mahomes is simply too good for that to be a realistic possibility. But we certainly could plan for a relatively down year that allows us to lay a foundation to load up on talent for the next several years afterwards.

I’ll explain how this works, but first here’s the cap hit for Mahomes under his new contract.

YearCap Hit (Millions $)

Notice anything? 2023 will be an unusually high cap hit year, being the highest hit until 2027. That peak becomes even larger when you think in terms of percentage of the cap. Since the cap always goes up, his cap hit in 2024, 2025, and 26 will be far below that of 2023. That means it will be much easier to surround him with talent those years than it will in 2023.

But since this is so far in the future, we have an incredible ability to plan around it. The only players who are currently under contract for 2023 besides Mahomes are Frank Clark and Harrison Butker, and even then both of them are very tradable at that point. At this point the 2023 roster is Mahomes and a completely blank slate. We can do whatever we want in 2023. So from this point forward, why not use 2023 as a year to dump cap hits for any big contracts we sign?

Take Chris Jones for example. I’ve been on the bandwagon to trade him for a while, as giving him a big contract would severely limit our ability to fill in the rest of the team. But what if we structure his cap hit so that the biggest hit happens in 2023? Then it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, we could easily work around it in 2021 and 2022 without having to make many sacrifices.

Or let’s say Juan Thornhill turns into a star player who demands a big contract after his rookie deal ends. No problem, stuff the big money into 2023 and afterwards he will have a great team-friendly contract.

With all these big cap hits in 2023 we’d have to go bargain hunting to fill in the rest of the roster that season, but in the 2024 offseason we would have an enormous amount of cap space that could allow us to build a team that laps the field over the next several years. Using this strategy the Chiefs wouldn’t just be a Super Bowl contender, they would be the Super Bowl contender every other year from 2020 to 2026. We could very easily win 3-4 Super Bowls in those 6 seasons by taking 2023 off.

If we don’t do this strategy then other teams with quarterbacks on rookie deals would have a chance to be as good as us, and that’s unacceptable.

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07/09/2020 9:28 pm

I’m on board with this.

It’s one year out of 12, and it’s not what you would normally define as a tank. In this scenario, you’ve still got a half dozen pro-bowl to All-pro calibre players, plus Mahomes. They’re just surrounded by budget players. You still have a shot at winning the division with just Mahomes and a couple of pro bowlers.

This isn’t a 12-14 wasted season tank.

07/09/2020 3:22 pm

Not on board with this.

Severely Concussed
Severely Concussed
07/09/2020 3:17 pm

To anybody that thinks this is a good idea
comment imagev

07/09/2020 12:27 pm

I disagree on the notion of “tanking”, but this is an interesting concept. I’m not sure how much relief you would get long term by stuffing your large contract money into a single year though. The nature of today’s NFL is basically that already. You are just suggesting an extreme version of it. You’ll just lose those few mid-tier guys from your roster and replace them with scrubs/rooks.

As far as the “cap always going up”, I’m not so confident in that. The pandemic will obviously hurt the league this year, but once people get used to not attending games PLUS the likelihood of a substantial and long term recession, we may never see attendance really rebound. The original protests hurt TV ratings. I expect them to be much more damaged by the coming protests. The NFL should get a significant short term infusion from the new TV deals, but I’m not confident that is going to be a good buy for the networks. I’m not suggesting these things are certain, but I wouldn’t be buying NFL stock today.

07/09/2020 12:09 pm

If we don’t do this strategy then other teams with quarterbacks on rookie deals would have a chance to be as good as us, and that’s unacceptable.

what, you mean the end of parity? LOL … the league is built on parity *hell, Lamar Hunt practically GAVE Tom Flores to Oakland, in the name of parity and competition)

yer nuts, Tony … no way this team, or ANY team, should intentionally tank … pfffft, get real

Last edited 1 month ago by upamtn
Reply to  Tony Sommer
07/09/2020 3:57 pm

Fucking capitalist

Nate Christensen
07/09/2020 11:16 am

Waste a year of Pat’s peak years by tanking. And one of the last years of Andy Reid


Last edited 1 month ago by Nate Christensen
Reply to  Nate Christensen
07/09/2020 11:31 am

Agreed. You always take your best shot, especially with Mahomes.

Nate Christensen
Reply to  Tony Sommer
07/09/2020 12:02 pm

Who said we couldn’t? There’s talent in every round of the draft. This isn’t the NBA, as long as you have the coach, QB, and GM, you’ll find talent and plug holes everywhere

You only tank if Pat is hurt

zulu trader
zulu trader
07/09/2020 10:55 am

James Palmer

  • Patrick Mahomes Cap Number by Season According to Over the Cap: Season Cap Number
  • 2019 $4.5M
  • 2020 $5.3M
  • 2021 $24.8M
  • 2022 $31.5M
  • 2023 $42.5M
  •  2024 $40.0M
Last edited 1 month ago by zulu trader
zulu trader
zulu trader
Reply to  zulu trader
07/09/2020 10:59 am

TMZ Sports

  • Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran Warns Patrick Mahomes, You’re a Financial Target!
zulu trader
zulu trader
Reply to  zulu trader
07/09/2020 11:03 am

Chris Bolin@Chris

@JamesPalmerTV @ArrowheadGuy

  • The structure of the deal makes it pretty likely that he will never be the top paid QB in a given year. $500m is large, but understanding how the contract breaks down is important.
07/09/2020 10:29 am

…or, and hear me out, we continue to draft and develop starting quality NFL talent. Like we have been. Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, Fisher, LDT, Butker, Jones, Nnadi, Ward, Wylie, Hardman, and Thornhill all drafted by the Chiefs or signed as UDFA and fulfilling positions of need. Plus drafting rotational players like Kpass, Dirty Dan, and Sherman.

Reply to  Tony Sommer
07/09/2020 11:33 am

We don’t need luck. We have Patrick Mahomes.

Reply to  Tony Sommer
07/09/2020 11:41 am

I don’t agree if for one reason: talent development. We snagged quite a few players from the Browns scrap heap and turned them into starters.

Reply to  HawaiiFiveOh
07/09/2020 12:48 pm

We have a really good GM, a HOF head coach, and the best QB in the league. Assuming we can win a lot before 2023 and Mahomes continues to shine, we could see a couple of key players taking discounts (Sammy Watkins) in order for the best chance at a ring.

Reply to  HawaiiFiveOh
07/09/2020 1:33 pm

This is the missing element in Tony’s equation, IMO. Veach casts a rather wide net in the talent search and isn’t afraid of getting creative about acquiring it. Poaching Butker’s an example of that, and as for the draft I don’t share his confidence that skill had little impact on success in the draft.

A possible explanation for the numbers he’s seeing is that since all teams basically use the same analytics and practices in their draft process – but what if Veach is onto a better model, one not in wide use? That could change the game and we don’t have a large statistical pool to analyze with him as GM.

07/09/2020 9:32 am

Intentionally tank with the best player in the league? Bean counters man 😏

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