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2017 Patrick Mahomes Trade: A Turning Point in NFL History

The 2017 trade for Patrick Mahomes changed the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills in big ways. Find out how this deal shaped both teams and the NFL over five years.

Key Takeaways
  • The 2017 trade that brought Patrick Mahomes to the Chiefs reshaped the NFL, and Kansas City led the league to multiple championships.
  • All players acquired by the Bills through the trade have since left the team, highlighting the trade’s long-term impact.
  • The trade exemplifies the unpredictable nature of draft picks and the importance of strategic decision-making.

2017 Patrick Mahomes Trade: Turning Point in NFL

Sometimes, a single sports moment can change history. In 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills made such a momentous decision by agreeing on a draft-day trade.

This trade allowed the Chiefs to move up to the 10th spot to select Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

In return, the Bills received the 27th overall pick, a 2017 third-round pick, and a 2018 first-round pick.

Kansas City’s Victory: The Rise of Patrick Mahomes

No one can dispute the impact of Patrick Mahomes on the NFL.

Since taking over as the starting quarterback, Mahomes has led the Chiefs to three Super Bowl titles and earned two regular-season MVP awards.

His arrival transformed the Chiefs from a cursed franchise into perennial contenders, practically guaranteeing them a spot in the AFC title game each year.

Buffalo’s Outcome: Analyzing the Trade Results

In the NFL, the salary cap often feels like an illusion, but it is very real, as the Bills demonstrated.

The Bills made several moves to balance their salary cap for the 2024 season.

They restructured Von Miller’s contract and released center Mitch Morse, safety Jordan Poyer, and cornerback Tre’Davious White.

White, a key player obtained from the Mahomes trade, will be designated a post-June 1 cut for financial reasons.

Analyzing the Trade’s Long-Term Impact on the Bills

The 2017 NFL trade gave the Bills three picks: the 2017 first-round pick, used to draft Tre’Davious White; the 2017 third-round pick, traded to acquire Zay Jones; and the 2018 first-round pick, swapped to bring Tremaine Edmunds to Buffalo.

However, all these players had moved on. Jones was traded in 2019, Edmunds joined the Bears as a free agent in 2023, and White is set to be released.

The only remaining connection to the trade is Tommy Doyle, drafted with a pick obtained in the Jones trade.

However, due to injuries, he has only played 12 games, making it unlikely that he’ll become a significant player.

Winners and Losers of the Mahomes Trade

Given Mahomes’ continued success with the Chiefs, it is clear who won the trade.

The Chiefs secured a generational talent, while the Bills’ acquisitions have moved on, leaving Buffalo without long-term gains from the trade.

Securing Josh Allen: Buffalo’s Quarterback Solution

Despite this, the Bills have not languished in mediocrity. In 2018, they executed another draft-day trade to move up and select Josh Allen.

While Allen hasn’t reached Mahomes’ level of success, he has become a cornerstone for the Bills, demonstrating that one good pick can still salvage a team’s future.

Understanding Draft Picks: Lessons from the Mahomes Trade

The Mahomes trade and the subsequent selection of Allen highlight the unpredictable nature of draft picks.

Draft picks can be valuable assets, but they do not always guarantee success.

A seemingly favorable trade can turn sour if the selected players don’t pan out. Conversely, a single strategic pick can dramatically improve a team’s fortunes.

Ultimately, the success of a draft hinges on the skill of an organization’s front office and scouting staff. Drafting is a gamble, but informed decisions increase the odds of success. While it’s easy to say “just draft a franchise quarterback” from the sidelines, the reality is far more complex.

The Mahomes trade reminds us that drafting elite talent is a game-changer but also fraught with risk. The right pick can lead to unparalleled success, but it requires astute decision-making and a bit of luck.