KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The richest contract in sports now resides in one of its smallest markets. Patrick Mahomes will be paid half a billion dollars to play quarterback for the Chiefs over the next dozen years, his decision to sign a contract extension representing one of the biggest days in Kansas City history.
The Chiefs are locked in to a 24-year-old Super Bowl and regular-season MVP at a position that only nine seasons ago included Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle and Tyler Palko throwing footballs.
How did we get here?
It traces to a decision Mahomes made years earlier. One that had less to do with money or his ability to sling an inflated ball 57.1 yards in the air to complete Jet Chip Wasp.
One that had everything to do with his personality -- certain characteristics unaltered by a college scholarship, a first-round draft selection or a Lombardi Trophy.
"What people don't realize about Patrick," said Bobby Stroupe, his trainer since middle school who owns APEC, "is that he has never wanted to be famous necessarily."
Back in early 2017, as Mahomes' agents maneuvered his NFL draft landing spot, they posed a question.
Big market. Big money. Or ideal situation?
Easy, Mahomes replied, per a later recounting of the story. Ideal situation.
As a kid, Mahomes would forget to take home his baseball tournament trophies. When his mom asked where they were, he would literally shrug. It was about winning, he would later explain, not the notoriety that followed.