KC Chiefs: NFLPA expects big things out of Patrick Mahomes in 2018

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images) /

KC Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on a short list of players who the NFLPA expects a lot out of next season.

The NFLPA has forecasted Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will make it rain in the coming NFL season. That prediction is more about dollar bills than touchdowns, however.

According to an NFLPA press release, Mahomes is ranked third on the union’s list of veteran players who are marketability “rising stars” for the 2018 season. Ahead of Mahomes are two running backs, the New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette. Mahomes is the only quarterback in the top ten, but one of four second-year players in the top five.

Mahomes is designated on the veterans list even though he has only started one game in his NFL career simply because he isn’t a rookie. To compile the list of who the NFLPA expects to become a big seller of merchandise each year, the NFLPA considers factors like on-field performance, fantasy football popularity, early demand from NFLPA sponsors for content and marketing, product submissions from more than 70 NFLPA licensees, and the strength of a player’s team market.

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Partially because of its population relative to other NFL markets, Kansas City hasn’t been a strong market for selling player merchandise recently. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is the only member of the team who appeared in the NFLPA’s listing of the top 50 best-selling players at the end of the 2017 season. In that ranking, Kelce was 46th.

The fact that Mahomes is the only quarterback in the top ten of the rising stars, his relative unproven status in the league and the perceived weakness of the Kansas City market only makes that number three ranking a more remarkable fact. It’s obvious that the NFLPA sees a lot of potential to sell thousands of items with his image, likeness and/or name on them. Having Kelce as one of the weapons probably helped his case.

At the end of the 2018 season, the story will be written not only on Mahomes’ first season as the KC Chiefs’ starting quarterback but his market value to the NFLPA for licensing as well. The two are somewhat connected, so if Mahomes is high on the sales list at the end of 2018, it’s a safe bet he will have had a stellar campaign on the field.