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Even after Mahome’s record-breaking deal, he still has a lower cap hit than Ben Roethlisberger the next two seasons

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The young superstar quarterback sets a new bar for big paydays, but won’t see Roethlisberger’s 2021 cap number until 2023.

NFL: Super Bowl LIV-Kansas City Chiefs Champions Parade Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes signed a contract extension on Monday, one that will keep him quarterbacking the Kansas City Chiefs through 2031.

The contract extends his rookie deal by a decade. It also contains a lot of rolling guarantees on roster bonuses. The structure of the contract is pretty complex, with roster bonuses every season which become guaranteed a year or more before they get paid, meaning that were Mahomes to no longer be on the team, those bonuses would still be paid and would count against the cap. It’s unlikely the Chiefs will have to deal with this situation, as the deal is clearly designed in a way that lets the team redo the contract if needed at a later time.

It also gives the Chiefs a little breathing room before the cap hits get ridiculous. According to, the cap hit for Mahomes new deal doesn’t cross $40 million until 2023, and is only $7.3 million in 2020.

So while Patrick Mahomes now owns the biggest contract in North American Sports, Ben Roethlisberger’s 2020 and 2021 cap hits beat Mahomes’ by over $16 million in each season. Since it is a contract extension, the next two years for Mahomes are still a part of his rookie deal, with 2020 finishing his initial 4 year contract, and 2021 under the fifth year option pricing for quarterbacks selected in the top ten picks of the draft. Even so, Mahomes won’t see a salary cap hit over the $40 million threshold until 2023. Currently Ben Roethlisberger is slated to cost the Steelers $41.25 million against the the 2021 salary cap.

It will be interesting to see if the structure of the contract, with rolling guarantees on roster bonuses making up the lion’s share of the money, becomes a trend in the NFL. The Chiefs were able to give their quarterback compensation for his level of play while managing to give themselves a few years before they have to make room for a massive cap hit on the roster.

So what does the Mahomes deal mean when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers? With players like Bud Dupree, JuJu Smith-Schuster, T.J. Watt, and Minkah Fitzpatrick all on the horizon for getting new deals in the next few years, it will be important to see how this deal changes expectations of players and teams across the NFL.

Stay tuned to Behind the Steel Curtain for all yous Steelers related news.