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In 2018, Kliff Kingsbury predicted Patrick Mahomes’ record contract

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, center, and Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, walk off the playing field defeating Baylor in an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Another years-old soundbite has been unearthed of Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury making a bold and proven-correct prediction.

Joining an April 2018 episode of the ThomaHawk podcast, the then-Texas Tech head coach made a bold call: Kingsbury said Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who to that point had thrown 35 passes in the NFL, would become the highest-paid pro football player ever.

“His arm talent is as good as, I mean, the best I’ve ever seen as far as just being able to throw from different platforms, different angles, off-balance so I think the sky’s the limit,” Kingsbury said.

“I got to watch him three years in practice (at Texas Tech) and he just made throw after throw, you’re like, ‘How did he do that?’ “I mean, I truly believe he’ll be the highest-paid player in the history of the game when his contract comes up. I think he’s that good.”

Remember: Mahomes was the No. 10 overall pick in 2017 and had only played one game for Kansas City as he learned behind Alex Smith during his rookie year.

This is what other — probably more reasonable at the time — guesses about Mahomes’ upcoming 2018 season were sounding like months after Kingsbury’s prediction.

Two-plus years later, it turns out Kingsbury’s prediction was a bit conservative.

Mahomes won the NFL MVP award in his second season and this past year led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win. The quarterback on Monday earned a contract extension through 2031 that could pay out $503 million, a record not only for the NFL but for professional sports.

Kingsbury sure has a knack for making the right calls.

Months after the Mahomes comment in 2018, Kingsbury said that he would draft then-Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft if he could. That comment came despite Murray looking likely to take the route toward a pro baseball career.

Remember when Murray being less than 6 feet tall was a big deal?

It didn’t at the time look like Murray would enter his name into the NFL Draft — it wouldn’t happen until the next calendar year — but it turned out he did!

And it very much didn’t appear that Kingsbury would be up for an NFL job in what would become his final year at Texas Tech.

It turns out he did!

Kingsbury was fired as Texas Tech coach soon after that comment, took the USC offensive coordinator job and then relinquished that after several weeks as the Cardinals took the risk to hire a college head coach with a losing mark in six years leading the Red Raiders.

Kingsbury now resides in a pretty sweet house and after the Cardinals selected Murray No. 1 overall in 2019 has things on the up-and-up in Arizona.

Mahomes is now very, very rich, maybe rich enough to challenge his former Texas Tech coach for best crib.


Phillips Law Group

Cardinals Interviews and Podcasts