He’s one of the most talked-about NFL players in the league—and not just because he’s dating Taylor Swift. And while Travis Kelce’s contract sounds like a lot of money to us regular folk, he’s actually rather underpaid compared to a lot of his fellow football stars.
Born on October 5, 1989, in Westlake, Ohio, Kelce’s journey from a college standout at the University of Cincinnati. He initially joined as a quarterback but switched to the tight end position during his college career. This transition allowed him to utilize his size and athleticism to become a reliable receiving target. He had a breakout season in 2012, his senior year, where he recorded 45 receptions for 722 yards and 8 touchdowns, and this performance helped boost his draft stock for the NFL.
Kelce was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, as the 63rd overall pick. Since then, he has risen to become one of the league’s most dominant and prolific tight ends, but Travis Kelce’s contract perhaps is not the fairest representation of all he’s done (and his girlfriend by extension) for the game.
Travis Kelce’s contract has a total guaranteed sum of $22,750,000 over four years. In 2021, he received a guaranteed roster bonus of $7 million, while in 2022, he earned $2 million of his salary as a guarantee. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the multiple-time Pro Bowler’s net worth is around $30 million.
While that sounds like a lot of money—it is— the combined value of all 32 NFL teams is currently $142.87 billion and football players should be entitled to their fair share of that considering they put their bodies on the line every week.
In a January 2023 interview with Vanity Fair, Kelce joked about how he isn’t paid enough. “My managers and agents love to tell me how underpaid I am,” he said. “Any time I talk about wanting more money, they’re just like, ‘Why don’t you go to the Chiefs and ask them?” The Chiefs are bound by a salary cap and players like All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill have moved elsewhere within the league—in Hill’s case, to the Miami Dolphins.