Sports Corner

By: Robert Bishop

Back again, and all of the headlines from Monday went toward Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who signed a massive, record-setting extension to remain in Kansas City for the next decade. The deal is worth $503 million over ten years, with $477 million of the sum part of guaranteed mechanisms. It is a wild, market re-setting extension that will not be topped for a long time. Only 24 years old, Mahomes is already among the more accomplished players in the NFL with an MVP award and a Super Bowl to his credit through two seasons.

This is a game-changing extension that will likely alter the future of NFL contracts. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott entered the off-season hoping for a record-setting extension. Now, he’s unlikely to get anything close. A best-case scenario for Prescott was getting a bit more than Russell Wilson’s annual salary or Jared Goff’s guaranteed money. Dallas will likely work out an extension with Prescott. Still, the price tag got a lot larger thanks to Mahomes’ unprecedented payday.

A side effect of Kansas City’s move to lock up Mahomes to a hefty payday for the long-term is that it may signal an end to Chris Jones’s time with the team. Far and away the team’s most prominent defender, Jones has been seeking a long-term deal this summer. Repeatedly, Jones, only 26 and a superstar along the defensive line, has said he will not play for Kansas City without a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline. Jones is standing firm on his stance. With less than a week before the league deadline, this already unclear situation just became even more muddled.

With a pair of announcements on Tuesday, the back-end of the Eastern Conference playoff picture lost all intrigue. Wizards guard Bradley Beal will not play in Orlando, citing a shoulder injury. There was no previous mention of Beal dealing with a shoulder injury leading up to yesterday, however, hinting at Washington’s desire to use the resumed NBA season as an audition for its young talent rather than risk injury to its superstar guard. The Wizards will be fortunate to win a single game in Orlando.

Joining Beal in sitting out the Orlando restart is Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Diagnosed last week with COVID-19, the Nets appear to be exercising extreme caution with Dinwiddie. Brooklyn, bound for the playoffs and a likely first-round sweep, will be without Dinwiddie, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan in Orlando. Much like the Wizards, the Nets will likely put forth eight games of unwatchable basketball to close out the regular season. Unlike the Wizards, the Nets—and basketball fans—will be forced to suffer through a few more games in the playoffs.

Both the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz are heading to Orlando eyeing deep playoff runs. However, both teams could become short-handed during the playoffs as Utah’s Mike Conley and Boston’s Gordon Hayward are each expected to leave Orlando for the birth of a child. Leaving Orlando will force them into a multi-day quarantine period before being allowed to return to their team. This is a necessary process that could force either Conley or Hayward into missing a decisive stretch of a playoff series.

In Major League Baseball, Rangers slugger Joey Gallo joined the list of players with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Gallo is said to be asymptomatic to date. Despite being limited to 70 games in 2019 due to injury, Gallo had his most valuable season in the big leagues. Bolstered by a career-best walk rate, Gallo hit .253/.389/.598 with 22 home runs. Obviously, his health is the more significant concern, but Gallo’s breakout 2019 season hints at a massive season in his future. Texas’s hopes of contending in the hotly-contested AL West hinge largely on Gallo delivering on the possibility.