In July, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension worth over $500 million, the richest deal in sports history.
According to Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, he might have deserved more. A lot more.
“They could’ve paid him a billion,” Martindale said in a video conference call Friday, three days before the teams' “Monday Night Football” showdown. “I’d still think he’s underpaid.”
Mahomes' past two seasons cemented him as an NFL superstar. After taking over as starter in 2018, his second year in Kansas City, Mahomes was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. The next season, he was named the Super Bowl MVP after leading the Chiefs to their first NFL title since 1970.
His greatness has given even Martindale headaches. In 2018, the Ravens had the NFL’s No. 3 pass defense, according to analytics website Football Outsiders. But in an overtime win in Kansas City, Mahomes went 35-for-53 for 377 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
In Week 3 last season, before the Ravens solidified their defense with a trade for All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters, Mahomes was even better. The Chiefs won at home again, 33-28, as Mahomes outdueled quarterback Lamar Jackson with 374 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Ahead of the Ravens' trip to Houston on Sunday, Martindale compared Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. On Friday, he was asked whom Mahomes was most like.
“I think he’s Patrick Mahomes,” Martindale said. He pointed to his play late in Kansas City’s Week 2 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, when he helped lead the Chiefs to a game-tying field goal in regulation and game-winning kick in overtime. “At the end of that game in [Los Angeles], he turns into a closer. You see the [Michael] Jordan of him, if you will. … The guy is, he’s unbelievable.”