Chiefs already planning for long-term Mahomes contract

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs are already planning their future around signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a long-term contract, even though the NFL MVP won't be eligible to sign an extension until after next season.

Chiefs general manager Bret Veach said during a wide-ranging interview Thursday that some of the financial decisions made dating back to last offseason were done with Mahomes in mind, such as the way the franchise structured contracts and how they approached free agency and the draft.

"We were prepared for Pat to have success and be a franchise quarterback," Veach said, "so this process of structuring ourselves for the next three, four, five years started about a year ago."

In the ensuing 12 months, the Chiefs traded incumbent quarterback Alex Smith to Washington and handed the job to Mahomes, who threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 50 touchdown passes while leading the club to its third straight AFC West title and the conference championship game.

The Chiefs lost in overtime to the Patriots, a defeat made even more frustrating by the fact that Kansas City lost the coin flip and Mahomes never had a chance with the ball in the extra session.

Off the field, Mahomes has become one of the NFL's biggest stars.

With his moppy Mohawk, earnest attitude and game-changing ability, Mahomes became must-watch TV by the end of the season. He had the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, has been courted by a wave of sponsors and has led Las Vegas odds-makers to peg the Chiefs as Super Bowl favorites next season.

PRO BASEBALL

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Major League Baseball is changing the name of its disabled lists to injured lists.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said the change is being made at the suggestion of advocacy groups for the disabled, including the Link20 Network.

Clubs were notified of the change in a Dec. 20 memo to clubs from Jeff Pfeifer, senior director of league economics and operations in the commissioner's office. The change was first reported by ESPN.

"In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the 'Disabled List,'" Pfeifer wrote. "The principal concern is that using the term 'disabled' for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) - More than two weeks after the plane carrying Emiliano Sala to a new career in the English Premier League crashed into the sea, police confirmed the body recovered from the wreckage was the Argentine soccer player.

A search of the seabed of the English Channel only discovered the Piper Malibu aircraft on Sunday and the agony was prolonged for Sala's family by the difficulties raising the body to the surface.

"The news is so painful," Argentine President Mauricio Macri wrote in remarks translated from Spanish on Twitter, reflecting national concerns at home over the fate of Sala. "My condolences to the family, friends and teammates of Emiliano Sala on this tough moment. We are with you."

PRO GOLF

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Phil Mickelson hit every fairway for the first time in 21 years on his way to a 6-under 65 at Monterey Peninsula, an ideal start Thursday on perhaps the last ideal day at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Brian Gay and Scott Langley each had a 64 at Monterey for a one-shot lead to par on the three-course rotation Thursday.

Dustin Johnson, not so fresh after his victory Sunday halfway around the world at the Saudi International, and Jordan Spieth each had a 5-under 66 at Monterey.

There was no shortage of activity with Brandt Snedeker making birdie from the beach at Pebble Beach and Keith Mitchell saving par with a left-handed shot off a bridge while playing with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

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