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Clark Hunt Understands Where to Spend the Money

The aftermath of the new contracts handed to Head Coach Andy Reid, President Mark Donovan, and General Manager Brett Veach, which run through the 2029 season, indicates the Hunt Family’s willingness to spend whatever it takes to maintain a Super Dynasty in Kansas City.

Long ago, in 2009, at the Hall of Fame induction of the late Derrick Thomas, Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt and I discussed the Chiefs’ legacy. In that conversation, he told me one thing that I never forgot, and it showed his passion and vulnerability in what he shared with me during the post-Hall of Fame party.

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At that time, he was just three years into taking over for his father, the late Lamar Hunt, the founder of the AFL. Clark’s goal was to maintain the essence of the Chiefs, but he also wanted to build a winning franchise to honor his father.

Still, he wondered out loud if he could match his dad’s accomplishments. He said, “I hope I can bring another championship to the Chiefs like he did.”   I assured him that one day, he would accomplish that.

Fifteen years later, Clark Hunt has surpassed his father with three more Super Bowl titles and carried the Chiefs Kingdom to heights it has never seen. He’s in rarified air because only the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, and now the Chiefs have won four or more Super Bowls.

Should the Chiefs Three-Peat this year, they’d be one more Lombardi Trophy away from tying the Patriots and Steelers for the most Super Bowl titles ever at six.

It’s hard to fathom, even for the most die-hard fans, the distance this team has traveled under Clark Hunt. In that timeframe, his plan has hatched so much success that Chiefs fans live in an era where every season is Super Bowl Win or Bust.

In the past, every Chiefs season had been a bust, and fans were disappointed in virtually every postseason until Patrick Mahomes was named the starting quarterback in 2018. Granted, Hunt was aided by the emergence of his once-in-a-lifetime mega-star, but he still had to pay him an enormous amount of coin to keep him happy.

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Thus, with the organization at the top of the NFL Hierarchy, Hunt has set a course to ensure that the people responsible for the Chiefs’ rise to repetitive world championships remain part of the family.

Last year, he converted Mahomes’ contract to make him the highest-paid quarterback. On Monday, he gave Head Coach Andy Reid a new contract that surpasses the $18 million annual salary the Denver Broncos gave Sean Payton.

Nobody will argue that Peyton is cashing a paycheck, whereas Reid is building Super Bowl Champions. The distance between these two coaches is miles high, and that pay gap has flipped upside down.

Still, Hunt has been criticized for his lack of spending at the facilities and some underwhelming drawings for their reimagine project, failing to win over Jackson County voters on April 2nd.

To those complaining, they don’t understand the business of the NFL. Hunt believes you pay your people first and then address the amenities of your team’s needs in stadium and practice facility upgrades later.

With the Missouri vote failing, the Chiefs are exploring Kansas City, Kansas, and it’s possible fans will understand the real business of football should the team move across the state line.

Still, the Hunt family must invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a brand-new Arrowhead West to make that happen.

Before he could entertain that thought or remain in Jackson County, he needed to ensure that the people designated to keep the Chiefs winning Super Bowls and running the operations remained intact through the decade’s end.

Further, as the salary cap rises each season, he must pay the primetime players big money as he did last season, retain Chris Jones for the long term, pay for talent around Mahomes, and allow Brett Veach to wheel and deal without fear of cost.

The Chiefs are the best franchise in the NFL. They’ve earned that status not only in wins, Super Bowl titles, and an incredibly loyal fan base but also because Clark Hunt took on the challenge to succeed in what his father did.

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