- Covered Chiefs for 20 seasons for Kansas City Star
- Joined ESPN in 2013
The Kansas City Chiefs continued to spend to retain stars from their Super Bowl LIV championship team by agreeing to parameters on a four-year contract extension with tight end Travis Kelce, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Thursday.
A source told Fowler that the deal will average more than $14 million per year with just under $25 million in guarantees. The average annual value will be slightly less than the San Francisco 49ers and star tight end George Kittle’s agreed-upon five-year, $75 million extension, sources confirmed to ESPN. The two are widely considered the NFL’s top players at the position.
Kelce had two years remaining on the five-year, $46 million deal that he signed with the Chiefs in January 2016.
The Chiefs, who at one point early in the offseason had $177 of available space under the salary cap, last month signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes and defensive tackle Chris Jones to new contracts that could pay them as much as $600 million. Mahomes’ 10-year extension could be worth about $500 million, which would be the largest contract in U.S. team sports history.
Kelce, 30, has more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past four seasons, becoming the first tight end to achieve that. In 2019, he led all tight ends in receptions (97) and receiving yards (1,229) while posting five touchdowns in the regular season then had 19 catches for 207 yards and four touchdowns in three postseason games.
Kelce’s 1-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl started the Chiefs’ rally from a 10-point deficit, one they eventually turned in to a 31-20 victory over the 49ers.
The Chiefs in three years under general manager Brett Veach have signed many players to lucrative long-term contracts. Others include wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill, defensive end Frank Clark, and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.
The Kelce contract is different in that all the other players were no older than 27 when they signed their deals.
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