This past Sunday, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made waves across social media after a microphone caught him supposedly throwing some shade towards Justin Herbert during this weekend’s American Century Championship.
While strolling along the sidelines, a spectator shouted to Mahomes, “Watch for Justin Herbert!”
To which Mahomes replied, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
This, of course, was taken as a direct insult to the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year by many in both the media and across the fan base. At face value, it sounds as if Mahomes was downplaying what Herbert did as a rookie, essentially inferring that he hasn’t done anything quite yet to “watch out for.”
However, later in the week, Mahomes cleared the air surrounding the comment in an interview with USA Today’s Jori Epstein.
“Yeah, I think it got taken out of context,” Mahomes told Epstein via phone. “I was talking some trash to all those Raiders and Broncos and Chargers fans out there. I have a ton of respect for him as a player.”
Mahomes says he wasn’t throwing shade at Herbert pic.twitter.com/XcsxRKc6wo— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) July 14, 2021
Later in the interview, Mahomes made sure to give Herbert his due respect, calling what he did as a rookie a “special thing.”
“Not a lot of guys can do it. And I know I’ll have a lot of tough games against him in the future. So it was kind of a joking matter that I think blew up on Twitter like most things to do.”
As of now, Mahomes is the only quarterback in the division who can truly talk the talk because he’s also the only one who has walked the walk. With a Super Bowl ring on his finger, he can really say whatever he wants.
So in the end, maybe there won’t be an old school-style rivalry between the top two quarterbacks in the AFC West. As sad as that is, these two are still at the beginning of their careers and that means there’s a plethora of classic, high-flying divisional matchups to be had.