MIAMI — Patrick Mahomes says he wants to spend his whole career in Kansas City.
The Chiefs obviously want the same thing.
"I've said before that I hope Patrick is here for his entire career, and that's going to be our goal," Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "There will be a right time sometime in the next 12 to 15 months to extend Patrick.
"And when I say 'right time,' it will be the right time for both the player and the club. I don't want to say it necessarily has to be this offseason, but I will say that it's a priority to get him done."
Mahomes will enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2020, providing an opportunity for the Chiefs and Mahomes' representatives to potentially work out an extension.
Should the two sides take that approach with a view to accomplish a deal within the time frame that Hunt indicated, the key now is finding the market value price — if there is such a thing for an elite signal-caller some former players view as a generational quarterback.
Greg Jennings, a two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, knows a thing or two about elite QBs, having played for Hall of Famer Brett Favre and two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
And Jennings didn't hold back during Super Bowl week when asked his opinion of the 24-year-old Mahomes.
"A generational quarterback is a quarterback that can evolve in every situation, and that's Patrick Mahomes," Jennings told The Star. "Pass rush, he can elude it and extend the play. He can still make you pay. If you want him to stay in the pocket, he can slice you up that way.
"He can do it all and his game is only going to get better. That's what is so exciting about watching him right now with where he is and having the success at such a young age. He's just getting started. That is phenomenal."
Geoff Schwartz, who played for the Chiefs in 2013 and is the older brother of Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, spent seven seasons in the NFL before retiring 2017. He is now entrenched with media as an NFL analyst and can be heard on SiriusXM NFL and ESPN Radio in addition to writing for The Athletic and SB Nation.
Schwarz points to Mahomes' work ethic and ability to do things on the field that aren't taught as examples of the Chiefs quarterback's unique skillset.
The former NFL offensive lineman also knows greatness when he sees it.
"I've played on teams with like four Hall of Famers and they're just different," Schwartz told The Star. "I played with Adrian Peterson. I played with Julius Peppers and Steve Smith, and Eli Manning is probably in the Hall of Fame. They're just different, like there's no way to explain what they do other than what I said about Pat. He does things a little differently than everyone else does, and his mastery of the offense and the defense is better than anyone else."
So, what would the Chiefs likely have to pay to keep Mahomes in Kansas City?
Given an annual sliding scale of the NFL's highest-paid quarterback, a distinction currently held by the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson, who signed a four-year, $140 million extension in April 2019, the Chiefs will spend a lot.
And Jennings wouldn't be surprised if Mahomes, who now leads the NFL in jersey sales, becomes the league's first $200 million quarterback.
"Hands down in my opinion, he's the only one," Jennings said. "I know there's going to be guys that eclipse him because that's just the way it goes. ... There's no quarterback in this league that can do what Patrick Mahomes can do. Pay that man."
"Whatever he wants," Schwartz said. "It becomes a question of does he want to get $45 million a year and that probably is going to hurt the Chiefs. Or, will he take like $35 million and that $10 million savings you can use somewhere else.
"We'll just see how that goes. But if they win the Super Bowl on Sunday, they're going to give him a check after the game. Here's your $100 million signing bonus. I mean, you pay him whatever he wants."
Still, it's never that simple when it comes to the business side of football.
The NFL enters the final year of its collective bargaining agreement, which could cause uncertainty for how teams handle contracts.
When it comes to Mahomes, though, the Chiefs apparently will look to keep options open despite what could or could not happen when it comes to the current CBA.
"Certainly, any time in professional sports when you have a collective bargaining agreement that's nearing expiration, I think it impacts the business on many, many different fronts, whether that's with your media partners, your sponsors, maybe even your season-ticket holders," Hunt said. "From the standpoint of trying to build the football team, we try to not let it impact those decisions.
"There are certain mechanisms in the CBA in the last year of the deal that make it harder to do certain types of contracts. I'm not sure those will have an impact on Patrick's situation or not, but there are those kinds of things that have to be accounted for."
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach agreed.
"It will have a part in that," Veach said. "Going back to Clark's statement, you like to structure yourself where that doesn't limit what you do. But at the same time, there could be some back-end verbiage and language you have to deal with. When all that stuff comes out, you just have to process it. ... It will play a part, but there are a lot of moving parts in all these things that have to do with the roster."
Whatever happens during the offseason, there's little doubt Mahomes has done more than his share to earn a potential new deal.
He established numerous NFL and team passing records over the past two seasons, including becoming the fastest player to 4,000 yards passing and 40-plus touchdown passes (13 games) and fastest player to 7,500 career passing yards (24). Mahomes was recognized as the NFL's MVP in 2018 and has led the Chiefs to two straight AFC Championship Games and now the Super Bowl.
Over the past two regular seasons, Mahomes has a 23-7 record while totaling 9,128 yards passing and 76 touchdowns with 17 interceptions, adding 490 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 103 carries.
Mahomes is a shining star, and what he's accomplished in such a short span is a credit to himself, the Chiefs and the entire league.
"Patrick Mahomes anywhere in the NFL is good for me," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday. "I have to tell you that not only is he an incredible player, but he is an incredible young man. Wherever he plays in the NFL, he's going to have an impact and I'm proud to have him as a Kansas City Chief.
"I would guess there's 31 other teams that wouldn't mind having him either, but the reality is he's just made us better and he's made the Chiefs better as evidenced by the fact that they're here in the Super Bowl."