Chiefs Star Travis Kelce Struggled to Pay Rent as a Rookie. Here’s Why.

Travis Kelce Chiefs

Getty Images Chiefs TE Travis Kelce ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards (978) through Week 12.

It’s not uncommon for NFL players to struggle financially despite being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, or for the top tier players, millions. At a very young age these athletes are given a fortune that can last generations, but are not required to listen to any guidance given to them on how to spend or invest their money.

That was the case for Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who as a rookie struggled to pay rent despite receiving a $3.1 million rookie contract with a $700,000 signing bonus. Kelce shared this info during a conversation with Shannon Sharpe on Sharpe’s podcast, “Club Shay Shay” earlier this year which resurfaced this week courtesy of the Front Office Sports Twitter page.

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According to Kelce, he spent his rookie contract money very quickly, which caused him to struggle to pay rent in his very first year in the NFL.

“Man, I spent it all,” Kelce said. “I should’ve been on a ’30 for 30: Broke’ the way I was spending.”

So the big question — what did he spend all of his money on?

Luxury items.

‘Back to the Future’ self-lacing Nike Air Mags, which cost anywhere between $50,000 to $85,000 in 2021, according to StockX.com. A brand new Rolex, which can cost upwards of $70,000, per Wrist Advisor. Kelce said at one point he also amassed over 300 pairs of sneakers, which would cost a pretty penny as well, potentially millions of dollars.

He may have had all of those nice items, but Kelce would come home to an empty apartment. That’s when he realized he needed to change how to went about using his money.


New Contract, Fresh Start

After back-to-back 800+ yards receiving seasons, Kelce earned himself a four-year, $52 million extension in 2016 with the Chiefs, per Over The Cap. The new money also came with a new mindset for Kelce.

“Give it to your money manager, make him promise not to steal it or lose all of it,” Kelce explained. “Get an allowance out every now and then. That Amazon one-click finger is a little itchy.”

Once the veteran tight end plays out his current contract, he will have earned a total of $54.3 million in total cash from his contracts, per Spotrac. And thanks to other investments he has made outside of football, along with the reality TV show he starred in back in 2016 called “Catching Kelce,” Kelce’s net worth is $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.


Big Year Incoming?

Kelce has two seasons under his belt in his 30s and has shown zero decline, which is encouraging given that a decline is typically in the works for players at his age playing his position. At 30 years old, Kelce caught 97 balls for 1,229 yards and five touchdowns during the 2019 season, per Pro Football Reference. At age 31 he blew those numbers out of the water, corralling 105 passes for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns, which were all career highs, during the 2020 season. Because of this and because of the team that is around him in 2021, we should expect to see the same, or crazily enough, better numbers from the Chiefs’ tight end this season.

A completely overhauled offensive line alongside Kelce this season will allow quarterback Patrick Mahomes more time in the pocket, giving him ample opportunities to scan the field, find the open target downfield, and complete more passes. Mahomes’ No. 1 target in the passing game is undoubtedly Kelce, which means beating his career-high of 105 receptions this season is not at all out of the realm of possibility for him, especially now that the NFL has implemented an additional regular season game.

During the win against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, Kelce recorded six catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. That means he is on pace for 102 receptions, 1,292 yards and 34 touchdowns. The touchdown rate isn’t sustainable, but regardless, Kelce is en route to another elite season.

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