Patrick Mahomes has been the face of the NFL since Tom Brady retired. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is in the Super Bowl for the third time with his team. The marriage to the Missouri franchise couldn’t be better. But it almost never happened – and for various reasons.
Raised in West Texas, Mahomes attended Whitehouse High School. In addition to football, he also played baseball there, where he also proved to be extremely talented.
He was even a candidate for the Major League Baseball draft in 2014. However, since it was already considered likely that Mahomes would accept a football scholarship from Texas Tech, he was only selected in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers.
However, he did not sign a contract there and, as expected, went to Texas Tech in 2014.
However, Mahomes never lost his passion and love for baseball. In 2020, the quarterback became a shareholder in the MLB franchise Kansas City Royals. “He loves football, but he grew up loving baseball,” said John Sherman, the Royals’ principal owner.
Has Mahomes been underestimated by NFL teams?
With the recommendation of 11,252 passing yards, 93 touchdowns (with 29 interceptions) and an additional 22 rushing touchdowns in a total of 32 games at Texas Tech, the 27-year-old signed up for the 2017 NFL draft.
There he was drafted in 10th pick by the Chiefs, who traded up from 27th pick for their future quarterback. Probably in wise foresight, as we know today.
Many experts had not predicted such a high draft position for Mahomes and even after the draft, the pick was ridiculed by many analysts. The high price in particular, Kansas City had also given the first round pick to the Buffalo Bills in 2018, seemed to deter them.
Bears select Trubisky, Mahomes disappointment
When the Chiefs picked Mahomes, he was only the second quarterback to go off the board. The Chicago Bears previously traded their way up to second-place pick Mitch Trubisky.
This was a particularly big disappointment for Mahomes, as his father Patrick Mahomes Senior revealed years later on the “Parkins & Spiegel Show”. The Bears had probably not only asked his son in advance, but also announced that they absolutely wanted to select him.
“When they brought Mitch in, he was really disappointed. Pat was looking forward to playing for this storied team in Chicago,” said Mahomes Sr.
In retrospect, the Bears may have regretted that they chose Trubisky. In 2021, Trubisky left Chicago again and first joined the Buffalo Bills before moving to the Pittsburgh Steelers before the current season. There he was replaced as a starter by rookie Kenny Pickett in week five.
Patience under optimal circumstances
Unlike Trubisky with the Bears, Mahomes was not initially used as a starter. In his freshman season, he finished behind veteran Chiefs Alex Smith, giving him time to adjust to the pace of the NFL and learn the Chiefs’ complex offense.
This can undoubtedly be described as one of the most creative offenses in the league, which helps a quarterback by generating free throw-on stations again and again through the scheme alone.
With players like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill (now with the Miami Dolphins), Mahomes also had absolute top weapons that he could use. In short, Mahomes found himself in a near-optimal environment to reach his full potential in the NFL.
The rocketing rise to NFL superstardom
The quarterback proved this potential with flying colours. In his first NFL year as a starter, Mahomes led his team to the AFC Championship Game, where they ended against the New England Patriots. In overtime they lost 31:37 to the New England Patriots, who later won their last Super Bowl win of the Brady Belichick era.
Mahomes had an incredible season en route to the playoffs. He rushed for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. He was therefore also fully deserved the NFL MVP.
So within one season Mahomes developed into an absolute superstar, which he finally proved in the following season with the Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
This season, including this season, the Chiefs have made at least the AFC Championship Game in every season that Mahomes has been a starter. The Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl for the third time in the last five years.
Unbelievable NFL contract for Mahomes
These achievements cost the Chiefs a lot of money early on. In 2020 Mahomes received a contract until 2032, which could bring him up to half a billion dollars (around 466 million euros).
Because of Mahomes’ performance, the Chiefs’ investment was certainly worth it. Despite the departure of superstar receiver Tyreek Hill, the quarterback led his team to the NFL finals for the third time.
Should the Chiefs win the upcoming Super Bowl LVII, they would have won the Vince Lombardi Trophy more often in the Mahomes era than in the team’s previous 54-year history.