Mahomes is top money man in American sports – and deserves every penny

by Alvin Reid, St. Louis American

The once-in-a-lifetime quarterback just signed a once-in-a-lifetime contract.

Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs signal caller who won an MVP Award, a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP honors before the age of 25, is now the highest paid athlete in American history.

His 10-year contract extension could earn him $503 million, with $477 million in “guarantee mechanisms,” and a no trade clause. If the guarantees aren’t met, Mahomes can opt out of the deal.

In addition, Mahomes’ deal has a $140 million injury guarantee.

Mahomes immediately said he was grateful to “further invest in the Kansas City community,” during a Tuesday afternoon online press conference.

“Obviously, I wanted the security to take care of my family and future generations of my family,” Mahomes said.

“But I want to keep great football players around me. I’d be lying if I sat here and said it doesn’t help me having great players all around me on the field. I knew this would be the right way to do it, to accomplish both things that are important to me.”

His on-field brilliance and sparkling personality have made him the face of the NFL – and his contract is worth more than Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout’s 426.5 million deal.

In an NFL that does not have a grand history when it comes to Black quarterbacks, Mahomes is the most essential part of its immediate future.

The 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mahomes would start one game that season – and win it. Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins, Mahomes took over the Chiefs and suffered an excruciating overtime loss to the New England Patriots in the 2018 AFC Championship game. Last year, after a scintillating playoff run that included three come-from-behind victories, the Chiefs won the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 50 years.

His career record is 24-7 and he is 4-1 in the playoffs. Needless to say, he is beloved in Kansas City.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt called Mahomes “one of the most prolific athletes in all of sports.”

“With his dynamic play and infectious personality, he is one of the most recognized and beloved figures to put on the Chiefs uniform. He’s an extraordinary leader and a credit to the Kansas City community, and I’m delighted that he will be a member of the Chiefs for many years to come.”

He is also devoted to working against brutality and challenging his country to overcome the racism that impacts every one of its citizens.

Could you imagine a Black quarterback, saying “Black Lives Matter,” in a video with other Black NFL stars, then, within weeks, becoming the game’s highest-paid player in history?

Part of this happening is the atmosphere calling for change – but most of it is that Mahomes is indeed a very special person. His intelligence surpasses his football talent, something that would seem impossible.

Kansas City Times sports columnist Vahe Gregorian, who bolted the Post-Dispatch several years ago for greener pastures on the west side of the state, wrote Tuesday, “Mahomes isn’t just an amazing, transformational player who influences everyone around him on the field. He is a principled, charismatic leader of the highest character in ways that reverberate off the field.”

“Mahomes is fundamentally wholesome, charitable, courteous and empathetic, the sort of person who looks people in the eye and really listens and knows part of his role is to make a difference for others.

“Someone Kansas City can embrace as an ideal ambassador for the city.

Oh my gosh, could St. Louis use somebody like him at this point in its history.

Gregorian visited Mahomes’ hometown of Whitehouse, Texas a year ago and came away impressed.

“People talked about how he was the guy who always reminded the football coach of teammates’ birthdays and looked out for the ‘last kids’ picked on teams,” Gregorian wrote.

His seventh-grade English teacher Dee Landers said Mahomes “was always good to have … walk in the room; since he’d smile and make everyone feel part of it all.”

Now, Mahomes is the first athlete with a contract worth half-a-billion dollars. He’s not even 25.

His contract extension runs through the 2031 season, and he’ll be 36.

You can run for president when you’re 35. You just have to turn 30 before you take office to run for U.S. Senate.

 

Big HBCU news

Saying, “I need to make the HBCU movement real so that others will follow,” five-star basketball recruit Makur Maker announced last week that he would play for Howard University. Howard, an HBCU university in Washington, D.C., beat out finalists UCLA, Memphis, Kentucky and dozens of other schools for one of the nation’s top talent at center.

Maker immediately went into a recruiting-mode when he wrote, “I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Williams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U & coach Kenny Blakeney.”

Williams will be a sophomore at San Ysidro High School in San Diego, California, when school resumes and the guard is ranked third by ESPN in the class of 2023.

In June, before Maker announced his plans, Williams wrote on Twitter, “Going to an HBCU wouldn’t be too bad. ”

After Maker’s invitation to join him at Howard, Williams wrote, “On your side my boy let’s shock the world!!!”

Maker is the first five-star recruit and highest-ranked college basketball prospect to commit to an HBCU since the ESPN recruiting database started in 2007. He is a cousin of Detroit Pistons forward Thon Maker, was born in Kenya and then moved to Australia. He then moved to California in 2015.

Price isn’t right

Los Angeles Dodgers pitch David Price became the biggest name in Major League Baseball to opt out of the 2020 60-game regular season. “I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family’s health for me to not play this season,” wrote Price, whose two children are under the age of 4. Price is surrendering $11.9 million by not playing.

“It was the toughest decision I’ve had to make, knowing I’m making the right decision for myself and my family,” Price told USA Today. “We’ve been in conversation [with the Dodgers] for a long time about all of this.”

Meanwhile in St. Louis, relief pitcher Andrew Miller has become a rational spokesperson for all MLB players, not just his fellow Cardinals.

“I think there’s still some doubt that we’re going to have a season now,” Miller told USA TODAY.

“By no means is this a slam dunk. We’re trying, we’re going to give it our best effort, but for me to sit here and say 100 percent would be a lie.”

Mike Trout of the L.A. Angels and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, two of the game’s biggest stars, are wavering as to whether they will play this season. If they both opt out, it could lead to a tidal wave of other players doing the same.

“I’d be surprised if you asked any player, if they gave you a hard-line, ‘No way, I’m not going to opt out ever’ answer,” Posey told the San Francisco Chronicle. 

A new Tatum ‘do

Our own Jayson Tatum showed for his first workout with the Boston Celtics with a new hairstyle. It’s kind of a fluffy, curly short Afro kinda deal. You have to see a photo to try and understand it.

But one thing is for sure. His game is on point.

“He walked in the first day and couldn’t miss a shot,” said teammate Danial Theis.

Former Chicago Bull and NBA Scottie Pippen told “The Jump” on ESPN, “I think this has been a breakout season for Tatum. He started this season sort of on a mission to separate himself from the other players that have grown and developed as well as really showing some leadership, I think, by becoming an All-Star this season.”

“And I think if (his) team is to make a run, it has to rely on Tatum’s ability to carry them offensively. And I feel like he’s totally ready.”

The Reid Roundup

Citing a shoulder injury that dates back to the early NBA season, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal will not participate when the season resumes later this month. “This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” Beal said in the team statement. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made.” Beal will be eligible to be traded at the season’s conclusion. … If there is a college basketball season going on in 2021, Howard University will host Notre Dame on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 18… On Friday night, July 3, I dropped my cell phone into dishwater. I instantly thought that the July 4 weekend might mean a delay in getting a new one. Why couldn’t MLB have predicted that getting COVID testing results to teams might be delayed?? The St. Louis Cardinals were among the teams that cancelled workouts Monday until results arrived… The guy who is president lashed out with lies against NASCAR and its lone black driver Bubba Wallace in regard to the noose incident more than two weeks ago. He also insulted the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians for considering a name change… FC Dallas has withdrawn from the “MLS is Back” tournament in Orlando after 10 players tested positive for COVID… Dallas Cowboys free agent signee Dontari Poe says he will kneel during the national anthem – regardless of what owner Jerry Jones thinks about it. He also said Jones should speak out on the fight against racism in America. “I hope he comes out and shows his support… You are an owner of an NFL team – you get what I’m saying? The majority of this team are these people that are being oppressed. So even if you are not going to be in the forefront, we need to know we have your support in that type of way.”

Alvin A. Reid was honored as the 2017 “Best Sports Columnist – Weeklies” in the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and is a New York Times contributor. He is a panelist on the Nine Network program, Donnybrook, a weekly contributor to “The Charlie Tuna Show” on KFNS and appears monthly on “The Dave Glover Show” on 97.1 Talk.” Reach him on Twitter at @aareid1.

 

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