KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Because of some well-intentioned but outdated NFL rules, rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes II was home in Texas last week when he was robbed at gunpoint rather than working in Kansas City for his new team, the Chiefs.
Mahomes, like all rookies, can’t participate in his NFL team’s workout program until his school’s academic term is complete. The exception is the three-day rookie camp, which for the Chiefs was May 6-8.
The final day of the spring semester at Texas Tech, where Mahomes went to college, is Tuesday. Commencement begins Friday and ends Saturday.
The rule is in place, as my ESPN colleague Kevin Seifert wrote, to prevent players from skipping the end of the academic term so they can participate in their team’s workout program. That’s a noble goal, but most picks have long since left school to prepare for the draft.
The rule applies to a player whether he’s graduating or not. Mahomes recently said he’s 18 hours short of his degree.
Mahomes was scheduled to attend the NFL Players Associations’ rookie premiere this week in Los Angeles. The three-day event begins Thursday.
When that’s over, Mahomes will rejoin the Chiefs. They begin their full-squad practice next Tuesday. Mahomes is eligible to participate then and in all of Kansas City’s subsequent 12 practices, when he’ll continue the process of learning the Chiefs’ system and the pro game.
“We saw him come in and improve every day that he was here with his verbiage and his footwork,’’ coach Andy Reid said at the conclusion of the recent rookie camp. “Does he have a ways to go? Absolutely. But the nice thing about him is that we found out that he likes to work, and that’s the big thing.’’
Asked then about his plans for the NFL-mandated break from the Chiefs, Mahomes said, “I’m going to go work out and study as much as I can, try to stay on top of things. The older guys, the veterans are still practicing, still doing their stuff. I’ve got to make sure I’m up to speed when I get here.’’