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Chiefs, TE Travis Kelce agree to contract adjustment

Deal makes Kelce highest-paid tight end in NFL next season
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Posted at 2:10 PM, Apr 29, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to an adjusted contract Monday that makes the makes the nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, the team announced.

“Back at it again, baby,” Kelce said in a video the Chiefs posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, announcing the new deal.

He called it “an honor and a pleasure” to play in Kansas City and finished his message saying “Chiefs forever.”

Chiefs GM Brett Veach kicked off his post-NFL draft teleconference Monday by “congratulating Travis Kelce on his contract adjustment,” which had been signed earlier in the day.

“(It’s) hard to put into words what Travis means to this organization, this city and it was certainly a priority to adjust his contract for us,” Veach said. “It’s something that was important for (Chiefs Chairman and CEO) Clark (Hunt). Very fitting that Travis is now the highest-paid tight end.”

Kelce led the Chiefs with 93 catches and 984 receiving yards last season, catching five touchdowns.

He missed the season opener (knee injury) and sat out the season finale (rest), ending an NFL-record streak for tight ends of seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

A month into the 2024 season, Kelce will turn 35 years old, but Veach said the star tight end has “shown no signs of slowing down,” making the Chiefs comfortable in committing additional money to Kelce during the next two seasons.

“Travis is an outlier here,” Veach said. “I think we all know that. When you talk about Travis and his career and his legacy, this is something that we just wanted to knock right out of the park earlier on then shift our focus to the young guys coming up. We’ll have a long runway until the preseason starts.”

Kelce was set to make a base salary of $12 million next season and $16.25 million in 2025 under the terms of an extension agreed to in 2020. He also received a $3 million raise before the 2022 season.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was quick to chime in about the announcement, posting his congratulations on social media.

“I told y’all I’ll never let him leave!! Congrats my guy!” Mahomes said.

The pair became the most prolific passing touchdown duo in playoff history this postseason, surpassing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

Kelce also broke Jerry Rice’s record for themost receptions in NFL postseason history in January.

“I never worry about him being ready to go," Chiefs coach Andy Reid previously said of Kelce. "He’s always right there and just brings that emotion to the guys, that secure feeling that we’re going to go get this thing no matter what."

Kelce has 907 catches for 11,328 yards and 74 touchdowns in 11 seasons since joining the Chiefs as a third-round pick from Cincinnati in the 2013 NFL Draft.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter said the adjusted deal bumps his compensation to $34.25 million during the next two seasons, including $17 million fully guaranteed this year.

That nudges Kelce ahead of New York Giants tight end Darren Waller, who signed a three-year deal worth $51 million with Las Vegas before being traded east. Waller's $17 million average annual value had been tops in the NFL.

“Just a really special day and moment for this organization to once again recognize arguably one of the greatest tight ends to ever do it,” Veach said.

Veach noted that Kelce showed up for voluntary on-field work Monday and “was the first guy in line. He looked like he was 28 years old. Again, the odds of someone playing this far into their 30s are very low, but it does happen. It happens with unicorns in the profession and Travis is one of them.”

KSHB 41 News Reporter Tod Palmer contributed to this story.