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After Aaron Rodgers’ Broken Dreams, Patrick Mahomes’ Agent Recalls Past Horrors to Settle the Turf vs. Grass Debate

Published 09/20/2023, 1:59 PM EDT

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Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending Achilles injury just four snaps into his Jets debut on ‘Monday Night Football’ has resurrected a longstanding debate surrounding the safety of NFL players. Despite the association’s assurance, incorporation of advanced safety gear, and elaborate safety protocols, non-contact injuries to the knee, ankle, and foot have resulted in a series of high-profile injuries on artificial turf.

KLTV sports director Michael Coleman in an exclusive ‘East Texas Now’ interview on Monday took on the Grass vs. AstroTurf debate with legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg. The duo tackled not only the unfavorable opinion surrounding artificial turfs but added substantial examples from the past to substantiate their stance before moving on to discussing Chef’s historic ‘reward’ to Partick Mahomes

Steinberg: “Grass is what football is meant to be played on”

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Michael Coleman commenced Monday’s exclusive episode of ‘East Texas Now’ by acknowledging “a topic that has always been out there.” The popular KLTV sports director said, “This topic has been around for a while but it has heated up,” after Aaron Rodgers’ most anticipated season came to a shocking end. The NFL legend tore his Achilles tendon after being hurled on the field’s turf by the Buffalo Bills defensive end, Leonard Floyd. The artificial turf issue has been a long ongoing issue for the past 50 years” agreed Leigh Steinberg, Patrick Mahomes’ current agent, “Grass is what football is meant to be played on.”

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Astroturf, It made you faster and made you feel invincible,” but it has also been the primary reason behind several non-contact injuries sustained by players. The synthetic turf is often restrictive and results in abnormal landings, causing long-term injuries. Steinberg states the example from 1995 where former Bengals running back Ki-Jana Carter’s football career was cut short after a tragic knee injury during his first preseason game

Referring to Rodger’s injury, Jets coach Robert Saleh expressed his belief in the turf at MetLife Stadium, the team’s home field. He remarked, “I believe that injury was a result of the trauma on the field…the players generally prefer natural grass.” It is widely acknowledged by NFL players that natural grass is not only safer, but also feels comparatively better to play. Many, including Rodgers’ former teammate David Bakhtiari, appealed to the NFL and NFLPA to eliminate artificial turf fields in the interest of player safety. 

Leigh Steinberg followed up his debate with some interesting insight on the Chief’s starting quarterback recently signing his historical contract restructure, which, according to his agent, was rather rewarding. 

“A great player gets rewarded:” Mahomes makes history with contract restructure 

Clark Hunt,  CEO of the Chiefs, seems to be on the same page with Leigh Steinberg who believes that a great player should receive due appreciation. “I don’t know that there’s really a way to quantify it financially, and no matter what he makes over his career, one way or another, he’ll be underpaid,” he said referring to Mahomes’ worth to the franchise. 

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The Chiefs will allocate $210.6 million to Mahomes, between 2023 and 2026, making Mahomes the highest-paid NFL player in a four-season stretch in the league’s history.

In the summer of 2020, Mahomes became the NFL’s highest-paid player after signing a monumental 10-year extension worth $450 million. Despite substantial contract extensions for quarterbacks like Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow all accommodated in 2023, none have surpassed the overall value of Mahomes’ agreement with the Chiefs.

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While Chief’s star quarterback Partick Mahomes is making history with his new contract restructure, Rodgers is looking hopeful after undergoing a New surgical procedure that could have him back in six months.” 

Watch This Story: Days After His Phenomenal Leveling With Aaron Rodgers, Kansas City Chiefs Seal the Pinnacle Spot by Virtue of the 2X Super Bowl Champion, Patrick Mahomes

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Written by:

Anushka Laha

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One take at a time

Anushka Laha is a fairly new addition to the NFL arsenal at ES. From representing her state at National Basketball matches, to winning medals at Muyai Thai, this PG Department of English Prize holder is an artist at heart. Words and images merge seamlessly in her writing as do the colors and lines in her paintings.
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Edited by:

Tripti Sarda