Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes explains his dig at Chargers’ Justin Herbert: ‘I have a ton of respect for him’

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Patrick Mahomes wants to make it clear that he has a lot of respect for Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

In a recent interview, Mahomes clarified that a comment he made about the NFL’s reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year at a celebrity golf event was all in the name of good fun. He was just “talking some trash” to some of the non-Chiefs AFC West fans who showed up to the event.

“Yeah, I think it got taken out of context,” Mahomes told USA TODAY Sports. “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.”

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Mahomes’ perceived dig at Herbert occurred during the 2021 American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe. A fan attending the celebrity golf tournament called out to Mahomes to warn him about Herbert ahead of the 2021 NFL season. The fan said, “Watch out for Justin Herbert next year.”

The Chiefs quarterback fired back saying, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

Naturally, Mahomes’ comment blew up because of the shade he was throwing Herbert’s way. But Mahomes made it clear that he admires the Chargers QB and believes that Herbert’s rookie year performance was “a special thing.”

“For him to come out in Year 1 and play at that level is a special thing,” Mahomes said. “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 do.”

Indeed, Herbert’s first season in Los Angeles was impressive. The Oregon product completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 4,336 yards, 31 passing touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He set rookie records in passing TDs (31), 300-yard passing games (seven) and came up just 38 yards short of tying Andrew Luck’s rookie passing record of 4,374 yards. And in his first start against Mahomes and the Chiefs, Herbert took the Chargers to overtime before losing by three points.

It will fall on Herbert to improve during his second season and find a way to take his game to the next level under a new coaching staff. Either way, Mahomes is not taking the challenge of facing him lightly. He will, however, take some friendly shots at him when he gets the chance.

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