Sep 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA;  Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Sportsbooks place Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa back atop MVP race

Tua Tagovailoa ended Week 3 of the 2023 season with precisely the same standing he had the season before: red-hot and running ahead of the competition in NFL MVP futures odds.

Tagovailoa is +325 to win MVP this season at BetMGM and +350 at FanDuel after his Miami Dolphins put up 70 points in a 50-point win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The effort pushed Tagovailoa ahead of reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes (+440 at FanDuel, +550 at BetMGM) and Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

Allen (+750 at FanDuel, +800 at BetMGM) and Tagovailoa face off Sunday in Buffalo for the first of two scheduled meetings this season.

Thanks to six TD passes in Week 2 at Baltimore and a win over the Bills the following week, Tagovailoa jumped to the top of the MVP futures market entering Week 4 last season as well.

His numbers one year ago are identical to his start this season: 3-0 record, eight TD passes, completion percentage of 71.

The course of the season and Tagovailoa’s health took a turn for the worse in Week 4 last season. The Dolphins lost at Cincinnati, 27-15, and Tagovailoa left the game with a head injury. He missed the next two games and by the time he returned to form with three consecutive three-TD games from Oct. 30-Nov. 13, Mahomes’ MVP candidacy was nearing victory lap stages.

Tagovailoa has been sacked only once this season and he’s averaging a league-leading 10.14 yards per attempt.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates toward fans against the Detroit Lions prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Agent: Chiefs restructure QB Patrick Mahomes’ megadeal

The Kansas City Chiefs restructured Patrick Mahomes’ contract and will pay the quarterback $210.6 million over the next four seasons, his representatives confirmed to ESPN on Monday.

His compensation over that stretch from 2023-26 is now guaranteed and becomes the highest salary in NFL history for a four-season span, according to the report.

Equity Sports CEO Chris Cabott also told ESPN that the Chiefs and Mahomes plan to revisit the agreement following the 2026 season.

Mahomes agreed to a 10-year, $450 million extension in 2020. At the time, it was the largest contract in NFL history in terms of total value.

The NFL quarterback market has since been reset, with Mahomes’ $45 million average annual salary trailing Joe Burrow ($55 million), Justin Herbert ($52.5 million), Lamar Jackson ($52 million), Jalen Hurts ($51 million), Russell Wilson ($48.5 million), Kyler Murray ($46.1 million) and Deshaun Watson ($46 million), per Spotrac.

Under the new terms, Mahomes would earn $52.65 million in each of the next four campaigns.

Mahomes, who turned 28 on Sunday, won his second Super Bowl and second league MVP award last season.

Including a 1-1 start to this season, Mahomes is 65-17 as a starter in the regular season and 11-3 in the postseason. He has passed for 24,772 yards, 196 touchdowns and 51 interceptions in 82 starts since the Chiefs drafted him in the first round (10th overall) in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts prior the first half against the Cleveland Browns at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs SB LVIII favorites; Patrick Mahomes for MVP

The Kansas City Chiefs begin the defense of their second Super Bowl title in four years on Thursday night, and they do so as the favorites to claim the Lombardi Trophy again come February.

The Chiefs are consensus +600 Super Bowl favorites to open the 2023 season, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes the favorite to claim his third NFL Most Valuable Player award.

Kansas City defeated Philadelphia in a dramatic 38-35 win in Super Bowl LVII seven months ago, and it’s the Eagles who begin this season as the Chiefs’ closest rivals at sportsbooks. That includes Philadelphia being offered at +650 to win the Super Bowl by DraftKings, +750 by BetRivers and +800 by BetMGM.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills are being offered at +900 by all three sportsbooks. The San Francisco 49ers are also +900 at BetRivers, while they are at +1000 at the other two.

BetRivers reported the Chiefs have been backed by the most money to win Super Bowl LVIII at 12.7 percent, while the Eagles lead the way with 15.2 percent of the total bets backing Philadelphia.

The Eagles opened at +900 at BetMGM but have seen their odds shorten to +800 with the public backing them with 9.1 percent of the total Super Bowl winner bets and 9.2 percent of the money — both among the top three at the book. However, that does not put Philadelphia among the book’s three biggest Super Bowl liabilities.

Those honors belong to Pittsburgh, Dallas and Detroit. The Steelers have drawn 4.3 percent of the money and are current +6600 longshots at BetMGM. The Cowboys have much shorter odds at +1500 and have been backed by 8.8 percent of the money. The Lions, who play at the Chiefs on Thursday night, have seen their odds shift since opening at +2500 and are being supported by 6.3 percent of the money.

Cincinnati, which opens at +1100, leads all teams with 9.4 percent of the total bets. The Bengals have also been popular at BetRivers, where they have drawn 10.2 percent of the Super Bowl bets and 8.8 percent of the money.

PATTY THRICE?
Mahomes, who will turn 28 on Sept. 17, won the MVP award in 2018 in addition to last year.

He is the +600 favorite by DraftKings to claim No. 3 this season, followed by the Bengals’ Joe Burrow (+750), the Bills’ Josh Allen (+850) and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts (+1100) in a market dominated by quarterbacks. The shortest odds at the book for a non-QB belong to 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and Vikings wide receiver Jordan Jefferson at +8000.

Mahomes is also +600 at BetMGM, followed by Allen and Burrow at +800 and Hurts at +1100. However, it’s Hurts who leads the way with 16.4 percent of the total MVP bets made, while Burrow is tops with 14.5 percent of the money backing him. That’s compared to Mahomes at 10.9 and 13.5 percent, respectively.

Hurts is also the biggest liability at BetMGM, where he leads with 16.5 percent of the total bets at +1100 — up a tick since opening at +1000.

NO WINS IN THE CARDS?
On the opposite end of the spectrum sit the Arizona Cardinals, who have the longest Super Bowl odds at all three books — +25000 at BetRivers and +40000 at BetMGM and DraftKings.

Arizona winning fewer than five games has been one of the most popular future props at BetRivers, drawing 4.1 percent of the money wagered on the Team Win Totals market. It’s the only “under” among the top five.

Circa Sports took the Cardinals’ plight entering the 2023 season a step further.

The book is offering odds on whether the Cardinals will go winless across their 17-game schedule. “Yes” is being offered at +2200, while Arizona winning at least one game this season carries -3800 odds.

Circa is also offering a prop on which division the Super Bowl LVIII champion will come from.

–NFC East +390
–AFC North +425
–AFC West +450
–AFC East +450
–NFC West +510
–NFC North +790
–NFC South +1675
–AFC South +2100

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2023; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, starters to play one quarter vs. Saints

Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the starters will play approximately one quarter in the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, coach Andy Reid said Friday.

Mahomes has no qualms about Reid’s decision for Sunday’s road game.

“It’s getting that first — I always say, that first hit. You want to get hit where it’s not too hard, but you can feel it,” Mahomes said. “You go through a long offseason of working through the pocket and knowing that guys are rushing, but they can’t touch you. So, it’s just different when you get in the game and you’re able to get tackled and everything like that.

“And I like to have at least one to two drives under my belt to say I’m ready to go, we’re doing the right things. And Coach Reid, he allows me to do that, he allows me to get in there.”

Reid said running back Isiah Pacheco, wide receiver Kadarius Toney, tight end Jody Fortson, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton won’t play against the Saints, however.

–Field Level Media

Jul 12, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes arrives on the red carpet before the 2023 ESPYS at the Dolby Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes touts No. 1 ranking in early arrival to KC camp

Patrick Mahomes wore white-framed shades, a backpack, rolled two knee-high suitcases and brought a No. 1-ranked show to Chiefs training camp.

“I told you there was a lot of cussing,” Mahomes said with a wry smile, touting “Quarterback,” the smash documentary series on Netflix.

Mahomes reported along with other quarterbacks and rookies Tuesday to begin training camp at Missouri Western State in St. Joseph, Mo., where Kansas City begins defense of its Super Bowl title. To remain the NFL’s top-ranked show, the Chiefs have a lot of boxes to check over the next several months.

While Mahomes was part of a whirlwind offseason that includes golf tournament appearances and ESPY Award wins, head coach Andy Reid was plotting how to return to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

“Some people read novels, I look at plays,” Reid said Tuesday.

The Chiefs appeared in three of the past four Super Bowls, but legacy has become a buzzword for Mahomes, the 2022 NFL MVP.

“The theme this year is how can we keep building? You want to continue and build, not be satisfied with what we did last year and see if we can take that next step,” he said.

Mahomes isn’t worried about resting on his laurels because of what he anticipates Reid and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy might have up their sleeves. Reid works overtime, he admits, to keep Mahomes on his toes and offers curveballs in practice and game film to prevent establishing a routine as “normal” preparation.

Mahomes said he’s “in a good spot” physically, fully recovered from the ankle injury that dogged him during the playoffs.

“We have a special group that can kind of carry out a legacy,” Mahomes said. “We’ve got the right guys, we’ve just got to go out there and do it.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Kansas City Chiefs helmet prior to an AFC divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs duo beats Warriors pair in The Match VIII

A pair of Super Bowl champions earned bragging rights over a pair of NBA champions in The Match VIII, a celebrity golf showdown on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Kansas City Chiefs teammates Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce emerged with a 3-and-2 win over Golden State Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at the Wynn Golf Club. The scheduled 12-hole match ended after the Chiefs matched the Warriors’ birdie on the 10th hole.

Mahomes improved to 1-1 in the Match series, having previously lost alongside Josh Allen while opposing Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in an all-quarterback showdown last June.

Curry fell to 0-2 in the event, as he and Peyton Manning lost to Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley in November 2020.

The first two editions featured Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, and Mickelson played in the first four editions.

–Field Level Media

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes greets fans during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes seventh in QB pay, more interested in rings

Less than three years after receiving the richest contract in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes now ranks seventh in average pay among quarterbacks.

But the Kansas City Chiefs star isn’t disturbed with the situation and insisted Wednesday that he’s more worried about earning more Super Bowl rings than fattening up his back account.

“I’ve always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than making money at this moment,” Mahomes, a two-time Super Bowl champion, told reporters. “We see what’s going on around the league, but at the same time, I’ll never do anything that’s going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So it’s kind of teetering around that line.”

Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in July of 2020, an average of $45 million per season.

But six quarterbacks have since passed Mahomes in terms of average pay. This offseason alone, Lamar Jackson ($52 million AAV) of the Baltimore Ravens and Jalen Hurts ($51 million) of the Philadelphia Eagles signed wealthy extensions that leave them as the top two on the list.

Also ahead of Mahomes are the New York Jets’ Aaron Rodgers ($50.2 million), Russell Wilson ($48.5M) of the Denver Broncos, Kyler Murray ($46.1M) of the Arizona Cardinals and Deshaun Watson ($46M) of the Cleveland Browns.

In addition, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers are nearing extensions that could also top Mahomes.

Mahomes’ deal runs through the 2031 season and he said he understands the restraints of the salary cap in terms of the Chiefs needing to lock up other good players.

“You just want to do whatever to not hurt other quarterbacks (financially),” Mahomes said. “Whenever their contracts come up, you want to keep the bar pushing (higher).

“It’s not about being the highest-paid guy; it’s not about making a ton of money. I’ve made enough money where I’ll be set for the rest of my life. But at the same time, you got to find that line where you’re making a good amount of money but you’re still keeping a lot of great players around you so you can win these Super Bowls and you’re able to compete in these games.”

The Chiefs have indicated they would like to make adjustments to Mahomes’ contract but haven’t detailed a timetable.

Mahomes, 27, has thrown for 24,241 yards and 192 touchdowns against just 49 interceptions in 80 career starts for the Chiefs over six seasons. He won his second NFL MVP award last season when he passed for a career-high 5,250 yards to go with 41 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also guided the Chiefs to a 38-35 win over the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes: ‘It took everybody to win’

It was hardly Patrick Mahomes’ most sparkling night statistically.

In fact, the opposing team’s quarterback set a Super Bowl record and tied another.

Yet faced with a 10-point halftime deficit, with a right ankle injury still lingering, Mahomes guided the Chiefs on a comeback to win Super Bowl LVII 38-35 over the Philadelphia Eagles and stamped his name into NFL lore as one of the all-time greats.

In just his fifth season as a starter, Mahomes became the 13th starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls, and the 27-year-old megastar added his second Super Bowl MVP for his efforts.

Mahomes became the first player to win an NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the same season since Kurt Warner in 1999.

He finished the game 21-of-27 passing for 182 yards and three touchdowns. It marked the fewest passing yards for a quarterback who received Super Bowl MVP honors since Tom Brady threw just 145 in his Super Bowl debut in the 2001 season.

But in that second-half rally — shortly after he came up limping on the Chiefs’ final offensive play of the first half — Mahomes was surgical, completing 13 of 14 passes, the lone incompletion being a throw-away.

Mahomes added six carries for 44 yards, including the 26-yard scramble up the middle with less than three minutes remaining that got the Chiefs to the Philadelphia 17 and helped set up Harrison Butker’s game-winning field goal.

Mahomes sustained a high ankle sprain against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their Jan. 21 AFC divisional round game and seemed to reinjure the ankle when tackled while scrambling with 1:33 remaining in the first half. He was seen limping when jogging off the field at halftime.

The limp was gone during the second half, the injury barely a memory.

“I told y’all this week, there was nothing that was gonna keep me off that football field,” Mahomes said upon accepting the award.

“I just want to shout out my teammates, man. We challenged each other. It took everybody to win this football game.”

Teammates like Nick Bolton, the middle linebacker who led Kansas City with nine tackles and scored on a 36-yard fumble return in the second quarter. Or Kadarius Toney, who not only caught a wide-open touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Chiefs their first lead, but then returned a punt a Super Bowl-record 65 yards to give Mahomes the shortest of short fields to work with on the next possession, just five yards.

Had the game swung the Eagles’ way, Jalen Hurts would have been the obvious pick for MVP. The do-everything quarterback ran in three TDs, tying Denver Broncos legend Terrell Davis for the Super Bowl record, and set a Super Bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 70. He went 27-for-38 passing for 304 yards and a 45-yard touchdown bomb to A.J. Brown that multiple Chiefs defensive backs couldn’t defend.

Mahomes had high praise for his counterpart after the game.

“If there was any doubters left, there shouldn’t be now,” Mahomes said of Hurts. “I mean, the way he stepped up on this stage and ran, threw the ball, whatever it took for his team to win. That was a special performance that I don’t want it to get lost in the loss that they had.

“It was a special performance by him, man. You make sure you appreciate that when you look back on this game.”

In just five seasons as a starter, Mahomes improved his career playoff record to 11-3, and he finished the 2022 postseason a neat 72-for-100 for 703 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.

He also won the MVP award of Super Bowl LIV, when his Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers as he went for 286 passing yards, two touchdowns and a rushing score.

It’s still the early stages of what’s turning out to be a special career.

“He strives to be the greatest,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Without saying anything, that’s the way he works. He wants to be the greatest player ever. That’s what he wants to do and that’s the way he goes about his business. And he does it humbly, there’s no bragging.

“The great quarterbacks make everybody around him better, including the head coach. So he’s done a heck of a job.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts an apparent injury after a play in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes hobbled during Super Bowl first half

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appeared to reinjure his right ankle and came up hobbling late in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night in Glendale, Ariz.

Mahomes was scrambling on a third-down play when he was tackled around the ankles by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards with 1:33 remaining in the half. He got up limping and struggled to put weight on the ankle while leaving the field and was in visible pain on the Kansas City bench.

When the half ended, Mahomes was limping while jogging off the field.

Mahomes sustained a high ankle sprain against the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC Divisional game on Jan. 21 and briefly left the game in favor of Chad Henne before returning. He played the entire game eight days later when the Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.

Philadelphia led Kansas City 24-14 at halftime. Mahomes completed 8 of 13 passes for 89 yards and one touchdown and added two rushes for 11 yards in the half.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) dives for the end zone as New York Giants cornerback Adoree' Jackson (22) defends during the first quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. The call on the field was a touchdown but was changed after review. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Honors: Patrick Mahomes wins MVP for second time

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes claimed his second NFL MVP Award on Thursday while the Chiefs focus on their bid for the league’s most coveted prize in Super Bowl LVII.

Mahomes was recognized in the primetime NFL awards show at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, where football dignitaries gathered to hand out awards for the best of the 2022 season and witness the coronation of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Justin Jefferson, an All-Pro wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings in each of his first three NFL seasons, earned Offensive Player of the Year. Another unanimous All-Pro pick, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Mahomes led the NFL with 41 touchdown passes and has the Chiefs (16-3) back in the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons. Kansas City will oppose another MVP finalist, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, in its quest for another Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night.

The lopsided voting for MVP saw Mahomes receive 48 of the 50 first-place votes. Hurts and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen each received one first-place vote.

Mahomes was named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2018, then earned MVP of Super Bowl LIV following the 2019 season.

Jefferson, a unanimous All-Pro selection this season after posting league highs of 128 catches for 1,809 receiving yards, was honored ahead of quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

Jefferson thanked his brothers, saying, “I mean, y’all made me who I am. You were all so hard on me. All the times I cried at home. You’re the reason I’m tough. I appreciate ya.”

That toughness contributed to Jefferson having a league-leading 28 receptions of 20-plus yards in 2022 and accounting for 28.3 percent of the Vikings’ total yards from scrimmage. He also led the NFL with 27 first-down receptions on third or fourth down.

Bosa was honored for his stellar 2022 production in 16 regular-season games: an NFL-best 18.5 sacks and 48 quarterback hits.

“To the No. 1 defense in the league, shout out,” Bosa said. “All my guys, you make my job a lot easier. It’s a team sport, I just do my job.

“If I’ve learned one thing in life, whatever end goal you have in life, it’s not going to be a smooth path. There’s going to be times when you’re questioning yourself. If you stay the course and you believe in yourself, there is going to be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Other finalists for the award were Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.

Defensive Rookie of the Year recognition went to New York Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The first rookie to earn first-team All-Pro since Ronnie Lott in 1981, Gardner led the league with 20 passes defensed. He allowed one touchdown — in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns — in 17 games.

After thanking his family, Gardner added, “I gotta thank Detroit. The east side of Detroit, man, seven miles. It was hard growing up, man, it really was. The neighborhood I stayed in, there was a lot of violence going on. But that was just adversity. That’s what it took for me to get here.”

The other finalists were Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen.

The Jets also picked up the rookie award on the other side of the ball, when wide receiver Garrett Wilson was tabbed the Defensive Rookie of the year. Wilson amassed 1,103 yards and four touchdowns on 83 receptions.

Other finalists were 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III.

A longtime NFL backup, Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was voted Comeback Player of the Year. A starter for the first time since his second NFL season in 2014, Smith pushed Seattle into the playoffs.

He was named to his first Pro Bowl, led the NFL with a 69.8 completion percentage and posted career-highs with 4,282 yards passing and 30 touchdowns. Other finalists were Giants running back Saquon Barkley and a 49ers midseason acquisition, running back Christian McCaffrey.

First-year New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who was the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2020 with the Bills, now has another trophy.

Daboll was voted NFL Coach of the Year for his turnaround of the Giants from 4-13 to a wild-card berth and playoff victory. The Giants went 9-7-1 in the regular season, their best mark since 2016 (11-5).

Other finalists were Sean McDermott of the Bills, Doug Pederson of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers and Nick Sirianni of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Other awards, including the league MVP and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, were to be announced later Thursday.

–Field Level Media