The Chiefs traded star receiver Tyreek Hill rather than extend him on a lucrative contract this offseason, and they may or may not have left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in 2022 because of failed extension negotiations. They have, however, rewarded one big name to open training camp: Travis Kelce. The All-Pro tight end was already under contract through 2025, but Kansas City has restructured his deal to enact a $3 million raise for this season, according to NFL Media.
The 32-year-old Kelce signed a four-year, $57.25 million extension with the Chiefs in 2020, but was previously due just $7.46 million in 2022, per Spotrac, which ranked 13th among tight ends. Now, $3 million from the back end of the contract has been moved to 2022, giving Kelce roughly $10.46 million for this season, which ranks eighth at his position.
It’s unclear exactly which years on Kelce’s deal have been lowered in total value, but he was previously set to earn $16.4M in 2024 and $18.65M in 2025. The Chiefs can still save a significant portion of the contract by releasing Kelce after 2022, if they choose.
The bottom line, however, is Kelce remains central to Kansas City’s offense, especially now that Hill is gone and newcomers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be tasked with headlining Patrick Mahomes‘ receiving corps. The seven-time Pro Bowler is coming off his sixth straight 80-catch, 1,000-yard receiving season. In terms of per-year average ($14.3M), Kelce is also the second-highest-paid player at his position, behind only the 49ers‘ George Kittle.