The move protects the Chiefs, who begin their Super Bowl title defense Thursday night against the Houston Texans, in the event that an injury prevents Mahomes from being available to play. It also has salary-cap implications, as Kansas City would receive a corresponding salary-cap credit.
Insurance policies are not overwhelmingly common in football contracts, but given the $140 million in guaranteed money that Mahomes received, both sides knew the decision would be executed prior to the start of the regular season.
The contract was finalized in July and is the largest in NFL history — it’s worth $450 million over the 10-year period and could grow to $503 million. Mahomes’ extension includes a $140 million injury guarantee as well as a no-trade clause.
The Chiefs picked up Mahomes’ fifth-year option for the 2021 season in April, putting him under contract for the next two seasons. Mahomes had two years and $27.6 million left on his deal — $2.8 million this year and $24.8 million in 2021. The 10-year extension puts him under contract with the Chiefs for the next 12 seasons.
Mahomes will receive $83 million-plus in signing bonuses from 2021 to ’23 ($21.7 million in ’21, $27.4 million in ’22, $34 million-plus in ’23). Those first three years are fully guaranteed, ESPN reported previously.