Touching Down on Crypto Salaries in the NFL
When you think of Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers, you probably think of Super Bowl rings, winning percentages and big arms (and perhaps a recent positive Covid-19 test and controversy for the latter). You might not think of cryptocurrency—but that’s all changing, thanks to this duo and several other notable NFL players who are opting for crypto to secure their post-football future. Several players are being paid in crypto or having their salary converted in part to crypto while others are notching deals with crypto companies, apps and exchanges.
Brady, for example, is a brand ambassador for an FTX exchange and recently launched an NFT platform, Autograph, that “brings together the most iconic brands and legendary names in sports, entertainment and culture to create unique digital collections and experiences.” When the Tampa Bay Bucs star recently threw his 600th touchdown—a record-setting toss for the NFL—he paid one BTC worth about $62,000 to the fan initially handed the ball by the receiver, who didn’t realize what he was handing over.
The 2020 NFL reigning MVP, Rogers shared a Twitter video on his new partnership with the Cash App payment service, adding that he would take part of his annual $22-plus million Green Bay Packers salary in BTC while donating another $1 million in Bitcoin.
Other big names include Odell Beckham Jr. of the Los Angeles Rams, who is also partnering with Cash App and will receive his salary in Bitcoin. The flamboyant wide receiver’s Twitter profile also features a Crypto Punk NFK. Brand-new to the NFL, Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars is also taking payment in crypto based on endorsement deal with the FTX app.
In addition, Rogers’ teammate Aaron Jones is a brand ambassador for FTX and Saquon Barkley of the New York giants is converting all of his endorsement money into Bitcoin using the Strike payment app. Finally, in a go-big-or-go-home moment, Sean Culkin of Kansas City Chiefs intends to take his entire NFL salary and convert it to BTC, tweeting that “I fully believe Bitcoin is the future of finance and I wanted to prove that I have real skin in the game—not just trying to make a quick buck.”
Clearly, 2021 was a standout year for Bitcoin investors and customers. BTC, the largest crypto based on market capitalization, reached all-time highs regularly throughout the year, surpassing $69,000 in November.