Patrick Mahomes was almost traded to the Cleveland Browns for a first-round pick and two second-round picks. The Chiefs’ front office, however, decided to pull the plug on the trade after being alerted by their scouts that there were concerns about Mahomes’ arm strength.
Patrick Mahomes was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017. He has been a force to reckon with and has led the team to success, but his future is uncertain because of an extremely risky trade.
Patrick Mahomes is the Kansas City Chiefs’ face. Furthermore, he is often regarded as the face of the whole NFL. Since joining the Chiefs in 2017, he’s set a slew of records and already has a Super Bowl title and MVP to his credit.
However, there was a real possibility — one that came close to happening — that Mahomes would have been throwing passes in a different red-colored jersey.
The Arizona Cardinals were on the verge of drafting Patrick Mahomes.
Patrick Mahomes | Getty Images/Jamie Squire
The Cardinals believed they’d have a chance to select Mahomes in 2017, according to former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians:
“We felt we had a chance at Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes last year sitting there (at No. 13),” Arians said. “I adored them both” (Arizona Sports 98.7 FM).
While the Cardinals eventually went with Kyler Murray in 2019, it’s difficult to overlook Mahomes’ potential as an improvement. Murray is a capable starter in the NFL, but he is no match for Mahomes as a quarterback.
In addition, Mahomes would have been paired with one of the best wide receivers in NFL history if he had signed with the Cardinals.
Patrick Mahomes and Larry Fitzgerald would have made an incredible team.
Larry Fitzgerald has found a way to be historically prolific regardless of who has been at quarterback for the Cardinals over the last 17 seasons. Since his debut, he has 1,432 catches for 17,492 yards and 121 touchdowns.
Fitzgerald is an 11-time Pro Bowler who has twice led the league in receiving touchdowns and catches.
Consider what Mahomes might do with a WR of that quality.
For what it’s worth, Mahomes has had no trouble scoring scores with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill on his side. Fitzgerald was 34 years old when the Chiefs selected Mahomes in the first round. Still, “Fitz” is an NFL great who knows his way around the field.
The bond he might have built with Mahomes would have been extraordinary.
Fitzgerald began to play more like a tight end in the latter stages of his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals. At the line of scrimmage, he depended on his power and toughness, and he wasn’t hesitant to battle for contested receptions. Given how effectively Mahomes uses Kelce these days, one has to think he would have done just as well with Fitzgerald.
The Cardinals’ ambition was shattered by a lack of urgency.
According to Arians, the Cardinals intended to remain at No. 13 in the hopes of landing Mahomes or Watson. Neither did, and it was Arizona’s general lack of boldness that eventually cost them a potential franchise quarterback.
The Texans traded up to get Watson, while the Chiefs moved up to get Mahomes with the No. 10 selection. The Cardinals eventually chose linebacker Hasson Reddick, a significant drop-off in skill.
Mahomes seems to be pleased with his new home in Kansas City. A possible Mahomes-Fitzgerald pairing, on the other hand, is arguably one of football’s most fascinating “what if?” possibilities.
Fitzgerald is a free agent right now; maybe he should accept a one-year contract with the Chiefs?
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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