Patrick Mahomes And Kansas City Chiefs Get This NFL Preseason Thing, But Most Don’t

Patrick Mahomes And Kansas City Chiefs Get This NFL Preseason Thing, But Most Don’t


To play or to not to play your starting quarterback during NFL preseason games beyond a tease (you know, if you play your starting quarterback at all with just three such games these days instead of the previous four): That is the $4.8 million question.


Patrick Mahomes And Kansas City Chiefs Get This NFL Preseason Thing, But Most Don’t

That also is the average yearly salary of an NFL quarterback.

So the answer to the question?

Patrick Mahomes.

The answer isn’t the old Aaron Rodgers or the current Desmond Ridder or other NFL starting quarterbacks hindered by themselves or by a bunch of team officials spooked by that Michael Vick thing.

No, this isn’t about dogfighting.

This is about Vick using his swift feet and strong left arm to evolve into the Falcons’ savior by the close of his second NFL season in 2002. Despite blizzard conditions at Lambeau Field, he helped the Falcons become the first team ever to beat the Packers during the playoffs in Green Bay.

Then, in 2003, Vick’s dazzling style sparked home sellouts for the Falcons before a season for the first time in franchise history, but it didn’t matter. He broke his leg during the second preseason game, and those Falcons were among the NFL leaders in no-shows.

If moving deep into the postseason is your goal, you shouldn’t focus in the preseason on that Michael Vick thing.

“You can’t coach scared, you can’t play scared,” New York Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters Tuesday when he announced Aaron Rodgers would do the previously unthinkable by playing Saturday against the New York Giants.

Rodgers is the four-time NFL MVP spending his first preseason away from the Packers after 17 years. He was traded in April to the Jets. He has been anointed by the New York tabloids as another Joe Namath, the quarterback who led the Jets to their only Super Bowl. They won it, and that was in January 1969, six months before man first landed on the moon.

Now consider that Rodgers makes around $38 million per season, and that he’s 39, and that he hasn’t played in a preseason game since 2018, and that the Jets’ offensive line has been dreadful throughout training camp.

Few would argue if Rodgers continued his boycott of preseason games. Even so, he said he prefers to play against the Giants, and Saleh said he wants him to play, adding, “You can slip out of your car and have something happen to you. Knock on wood, everyone will be fine.”

Take Mahomes, for instance.

Maybe you’ve heard of him, along with his Kansas City Chiefs, especially since he took them to three of the previous six Super Bowls. He won game most valuable player honors after leading the Chiefs to two Vince Lombardi trophies during that stretch.

Not only that, but Mahomes owns a couple of NFL MVP awards.

In addition, Mahomes’ yearly haul from the Chiefs is $45 million, the seventh-highest total among his peers.

So those who sign Mahomes’ checks have the right to tell head coach Andy Reid to keep the face of their franchise covered by invisible bubble wrap until the regular season begins.

Instead, Mahomes played a bit in New Orleans earlier this month during the Chiefs’ first preseason game. He played slightly more last week in Arizona.

As for Saturday in Kansas City, where the Chiefs will close out their preseason with the Clevleand Browns, well, listen to Mahomes and Reid.

“Well see,” Reid told reporters Wednesday when asked if Mahomes will play Saturday, which means Mahomes will play.

Mahomes usually plays the last preseason game, and he still did so in 2021 after the NFL sliced the number of these mostly meaningless outings from four to three. Back then, he ran two series after the opening kickoff before departing, and last year, he was around for just the first series.

“I just prepare myself every week,” Mahomes told reporters this week. “I get the reps in there and I follow Coach Reid’s lead. He’s done this for a long time. He knows what’s needed every single year in order to go in and play well at the very beginning of the year. That’s why his record is so good at the beginning of the season.”

How good?

Reid’s opening-game mark with the Chiefs is 9-1.

In contrast, the Falcons finished each of the past five seasons with a losing record, and they’ll enter this one with Ridder as the antithesis of Mahomes and of the new Rodgers in so many ways.

Ridder is the Falcons’ first-time starter at quarterback. He spent 2022 as a rookie without any NFL action until he started the last four games of the season. At $1.3 million per year, he also makes about $36 million less than Rodgers and nearly $44 million less than Mahomes.

Despite Ridder’s flimsy NFL resume screaming, “Play me long stretches in preseason games to get me ready for the real thing,” the Falcons still look traumatized by the Michael Vick thing. They didn’t play Ridder in their preseason opener on the road against the Miami Dolphins, and they used him just one series the next week with the Cincinnati Bengals came to town.

As for Thursday night’s preseason finale in Atlanta against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith didn’t share with reporters beforehand whether Ridder would spent the night playing or observing.

It didn’t matter.

The Falcons already blew it.

See Mahomes with plenty of preseason-game action and with a couple of shiny rings.


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