Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Though the actual, guaranteed number will wind up being much lower, the sticker shock is tough to get past. The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to give Patrick Mahomes $503 million to play football.

It’s the richest contract in professional sports history (in theory), and certainly something no one envisioned back when Mahomes was a 3-sport athlete at Whitehouse (Texas) High School.

Most college coaches thought Mahomes, the son of a former Major Leaguer of the same name, was baseball-bound, which is how the highest-paid player in the history of football was offered by Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Rice, and no one else.

Texas Tech was led by Kliff Kingsbury at the time. Kliff saw in Mahomes the game-changing talent that it would take the rest of us years to see — and he’s got the receipts to prove it. Mahomes was one of Kingsbury’s first offers — Jan. 11, 2013, according to his 247Sports profile — and Mahomes’ first from a college program.

Kliff was also the first to predict Mahomes would become the highest-paid player in football history. Kingsbury said this way back in 2018, when he was still Texas Tech’s head coach.

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

It seems obvious in retrospect, but considering Mahomes had yet to even take over as Kansas City’s full-time starter at the time, that has to go down as one of the most impressive predictions in football history.

Can Kliff make some predictions about me now?

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.