George Kittle, your fruit basket is in the mail.
On day two of Kansas City Chiefs training camp, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport announced that KC and superstar tight end Travis Kelce “have agreed to terms on an adjusted contract to give him a raise in 2022, sources say. Money is moved from the back of the deal to properly compensate Kelce.”
Kittle began the financial chatter for his TE brethren this offseason during an interview with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. The San Francisco 49ers star told the NBC Sports reporter that Kelce’s salary “boggles [his] mind,” considering how much more wide receivers are currently making.
That tight end gap has not been fully corrected today on July 27, but a noticeable financial error has been rectified to some extent. Kelce should clearly be making more money and the Chiefs recognized that with a pay bump in late July.
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Details of Kelce’s ‘Raise’
Not long after, Rapoport tweeted again with the financial details of Kelce’s raise.
“The #Chiefs moved $3M forward from the back of Travis Kelce’s contract,” he revealed, “giving him a raise for 2022.”
This may not seem like a lot but considering Kelce was only guaranteed $2 million prior to this adjustment, it’s more than double what he was assured and nearly half the amount of his $6.5 million base salary this season.
Arrowhead Pride’s John Dixon reported that the extra $3 million will bring Kelce’s base salary up to $10.5 million on the year when you factor in roster and workout bonuses. ESPN NFL insider Field Yates later explained that “the $1M in base salary that the Chiefs accelerated onto this year for Travis Kelce’s deal came from his 2023 salary.” The extra $2M will be considered “roster bonuses.”
Yates also listed the updated cap numbers for 2022 ($11.855M) and 2023 ($13.605M). Again, this does not correct the TE gap completely but it does help reward a great player for his consistent efforts.
During an interview at the American Century Championship golf event in Lake Tahoe, Kelce told KSHB41 sports anchor Aaron Ladd that he’ll “let everybody else talk about the money situation” while he focuses on the 2022 campaign. “I’m excited about this season and I’m excited about where the Chiefs are going,” he added.
He also joked with Ladd that “you can’t pay me enough baby!” KC will continue to do what it takes to keep Kelce content. Congratulations on the well-earned restructure, Travis.
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Mahomes Could Receive Similar Raise
After Kelce’s restructure was reported on, former Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz tweeted out an intuitive thought.
“[The] Chiefs [are] willing to bump up Kelce’s contract only two years into his extension but according to everyone [Patrick Mahomes] is locked into his 12-year deal and is never going to have his contract adjusted and every time a QB signs a deal we’ll point to his deal as being so underpaid,” he voiced.
Schwartz is dead-on here. Unless Mahomes has no interest in being compensated fairly for his contributions because of his alternative forms of income, he too will eventually receive a raise from Kansas City management at some point in the future.
The superstar quarterback recently told the media that “when I signed my deal, I knew I was going to be set for life regardless of how the market [moved].”
Mahomes continued: “You just keep playing. Money is one thing but when you get those Super Bowl rings at the end of your career, I think that’s going to be the thing that you look back on. I think I’ve made enough money on the football field and off of it as well that it won’t matter at the end of the day.”
Kelce and Mahomes, two unselfish and irreplaceable assets, have become the driving force behind this Chiefs’ reign of terror. It’s nice to know both care much more about championships than they do about contracts.