The NFL just had its most surprising and, perhaps more crucially, wealthy offseason ever. As a result of the latest TV deal agreement, the wage ceiling will see a significant hike (an increase of $25.7 million from 2021 to 2022, with another increase in 2023).
It reflects a situation in which players had more negotiating power than usual this offseason, resulting in a slew of landmark contract extensions and surprising transactions. This offseason, fully guaranteed contracts for $230 million (Deshaun Watson) were handed out.
Despite the fact that numerous high-level players have increased their annual pay, Kansas City Chiefs superstar tight end Travis Kelce is still on a team-friendly contract. Kelce is the highest underpaid player in the league among all the superstars who are no longer on their rookie contracts.
Kelce is expected to make $7.455 million in total cash earnings in 2022, according to Spotrac. When you realize that numerous wide receivers have started earning $30 million per year, it’s a bit surprising.
Travis Kelce is one of those rare weapons who has positively contributed to the creation of a high-octane passing attack in a pass-happy league that has placed a premium on difference-making pass catchers. His contract, however, is no longer valid.
Kelce’s current contract places him as the 13th highest-paid tight end in the NFL in 2022, despite the fact that he is perhaps the most prolific and effective tight end in the league. Will Dissly, Taysom Hill, Evan Engram, and Jonnu Smith are four tight ends who will make more money in total cash this season than Kelce. All four players’ current contracts were signed more recently than Kelce’s.
In August 2020, Kelce agreed to a four-year, $57 million contract deal with the Chiefs, which will last through the 2025 season. George Kittle, a tight end with the San Francisco 49ers, recently shared his opinion on Kelce’s current contract issue.
“He [Kelce] is paid half as much as a wide receiver,” Kittle explained. “It just baffles me.”
All things considered, Kelce recently replied to Kittle’s allegations in the most selfless manner conceivable.
Kelce expressed his gratitude for Kittle’s statement. “However, I signed my contract knowing exactly what I was getting into.” At this stage in my work, money is virtually a bonus. “I’m here to leave my mark on the Kansas City Chiefs and to help them become the best team they can be,” Kelce said.
His illustrious career has left an indelible mark. Since the 2016 season, Kelce has had six straight 1,000-yard seasons. Among all tight ends in history, the former Cincinnati Bearcat has the most 1,000-yard single-season performances (six). In 2020, he set a new record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards in a single season.
Despite the fact that he will be 33 years old in 2022, Kelce is poised to play a larger part in Kansas City’s new-look passing offense, which will no longer feature Tyreek Hill. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, and JuJu Smith-Schuster are among the Chiefs’ receivers who have been added this offseason.
While working through chemistry concerns with his new targets, expect starter quarterback Patrick Mahomes to concentrate on his established and steady tight end.
Kelce stands out as a rare example of a badly undervalued commodity in a league where it’s getting increasingly easy to spot overpriced players. Kelce, perhaps the best tight end in NFL history, intends to keep spinning while helping the Chiefs return to Super Bowl contention every year. Kelce will not be compensated fairly for his efforts, but his reputation and renown will live on in 2022.
Details on Travis Kelce’s deal
$14,312,500 is the average yearly pay.
$22.75 million in cash guarantees
$47.250 million over 4 years (signed in 2020 through 2025)
Kelce has a team-friendly contract for the following two years, with cap hits of $7.65 million in 2021 and $8.9 million in 2022, until his age 33 seasons. He receives a total of $1 million in roster and workout bonuses every season, as well as a $1.4 million yearly restructuring bonus.
With no signs of slowing down in his game at 31, the Chiefs would be wise to have him linked to Patrick Mahomes during their current Super Bowl window. Kansas City will work out a new deal with Kelce if he stays healthy and wants to play into his mid-30s. Rob Gronkowski and Kelce are barely five months apart in age.