Patrick Mahomes has long identified with No. 5.
He wore it as a star football and basketball player at Whitehouse High in Texas and as a star quarterback at Texas Tech.
But when he arrived in Kansas City as a rookie last May, he found the number was already taken by kicker Cairo Santos, a three-year starter, so he settled on No. 15.
Santos, however, is no longer a Chief, and Mahomes is set to inherit the starting quarterback job following the recently divulged trade of Alex Smith.
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So might Mahomes switch to his favorite number in 2018?
“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” Mahomes told The Star on Friday. “I’ve thought about it now that the season’s over, but it’s not as easy as it seems to be — it’s not like I can just switch jersey numbers. It’s a lot of stuff you have to do with the NFL.”
The biggest hurdle to Mahomes switch numbers is that he’d be personally responsible for buying up all the old merchandise that’s been produced with No. 15.
He and his camp are currently in the process of figuring how much that will cost, but they’ve been told it could be up to $100,000 — a significant amount of money for anyone, even a newly minted 22-year-old millionnaire.
“I’d have to pay for a lot of No. 15 jerseys,” Mahomes said with a laugh.
So that’s a bit of an obstacle. And No. 15 has actually grown on him.
“That’s the thing — I actually like 15 a lot,” Mahomes said. “It’s kinda like, I got drafted 10th and I (wore) No. 5. And there’s not really any other quarterbacks that have 15.
“So, five has a special place with me. But we’ll see how it goes. I haven’t made a decision yet.”
It’s telling that Mahomes and his camp are still exploring avenues to have someone else to help pay for the old jerseys.
“He has a memorabilia deal, so we’ve had some communications with them about it,” said Chris Cabott, who represents Mahomes along with agent Leigh Steinberg.
If Mahomes was able to get some help with that, and he did switch his number, he says he wouldn’t forget all the fans who already bought his No. 15 jerseys.
“If I was to do something, I would try to help out everybody and get it all fixed,” Mahomes said.
A resolution could be the horizon, however.
“I will let everybody know soon,” Mahomes said.