The LA Chargers do not gain much from the Kansas City Chiefs’ big extensions.
The Kansas Chiefs’ offseason has been talked about a lot with huge extensions given to Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones, but their big contracts don’t really help the LA Chargers gain ground.
A common consensus that’s been reached by some NFL fans, especially some Chargers fans, is that the Chiefs’ salary cap situation will eventually restrict them down the line with some of the big contracts they’ve doled out:
The Chiefs’ salary cap certainly may be tight in some regards when Patrick Mahomes‘ contract kicks in, but it was still the right decision to lock up him and defensive tackle Chris Jones for many reasons.
For starters, Andy Reid is a terrific talent evaluator. Whether discussing his tenure in Philadelphia or Kansas City, Reid has always been able to plug in cheap talent that was a great scheme fit.
Before Mahomes and the Chiefs, Donovan McNabb was the quarterback who got the mega-deal in Philadelphia. The Eagles reached five NFC Championship games, one Super Bowl appearance and six division titles even with a bloated McNabb contract.
Here’s the other thing — Mahomes is way better than McNabb could ever dream to be as a quarterback. It makes Reid’s job of finding talent even easier for him.
Just in his Kansas City tenure, Reid has found Tyreek Hill in the fifth round, Travis Kelce in the third and Kareem Hunt in the third as well. In the last two drafts, he’s found Juan Thornhill, Mecole Hardman and now Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Another advantage of the Mahomes extension is that it doesn’t kick in until 2022. The Chiefs have a little over two years to plan things out before they may have to deal with some cap constraints. That’s why it makes sense to lock up Jones now.
There might be challenging cap issues for the Chiefs in the future, but Mahomes, Jones, Hill and Kelce are all locked up for at least the next three years. The train ain’t slowing down anytime soon.
The LA Chargers could soon be big spenders as well.
The LA Chargers also have their own contracts to pay soon. No, they don’t have to pay a quarterback mega-deal yet, but they will have to pay Joey Bosa and Keenan Allen. Those extensions will likely cost $45-50+ million in cap space.
That’s before getting to some tougher decisions next offseason like Melvin Ingram, Hunter Henry, Desmond King and more. You absolutely pay Bosa, Allen and whoever else will help with the future of the franchise. But that’s why it’s shortsighted to celebrate the Chiefs’ cap situation.
Kansas City was kind of an unbalanced roster in terms of salary anyway. Even if you remove the Jones deal from the 2020 salary cap table, the Chiefs are on pace to pay about eight players $10+ million next year.
The next highest salary after that is Alex Okafor at $7 million. 33 of the top 51 on the Chiefs’ roster currently make less than $2 million. I’m not sure there’s a better example of a stars and scrubs roster if you go around the league.
Everyone thinks the Mahomes deal was so daunting, but it was formatted in a way where it will really age well. The deal is for 10 years. Think about how many quarterback deals end up looking like a bargain after even five years. Fans freaked out when Russell Wilson signed a four year $87 million dollar deal in 2015.
The same was true when Cam Newton would eventually make $20 million per year. Nowadays, $20 million a year is Teddy Bridgewater money. Quarterback contracts almost always age well and Mahomes is the most talented quarterback who’s ever lived.
An issue for the LA Chargers is that they don’t know if Justin Herbert is a franchise quarterback. If the Chargers have a cheap quarterback who’s awesome for the next five years, it could be a huge advantage.
If Herbert falls into that Mitchell Trubisky bust territory, though, it doesn’t matter what contracts the Chiefs give out. Everyone wants Herbert to be good, but there’s no guarantee he will be.
Regardless of what some NFL fans may think, the Chiefs are set up for the future pretty well while the Chargers are mired in uncertainty. Reid always finds amazing diamonds in the rough. Mahomes is the most talented quarterback of all time. They’ll make the cap situation work.
With the Chargers, they still have to pay Bosa and Allen huge deals while not fully knowing if Herbert is going to be good. The LA Chargers could take advantage of the Chiefs’ cap situation, but there’s a lot of things that have to fall into place first.