2:18pm: The actual base value of Kelce’s five-year extension is $46.842MM, tweets Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. $10.517MM is fully guaranteed, with $20.017MM in total guarantees. Corry adds (via Twitter) that the contract includes $500K in per-game roster bonuses in 2017, and $1MM annually in per-game roster bonuses for the final four years.
12:04pm: The Chiefs have become the second team this week to extend the rookie contract of a young tight end, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve reached an agreement on a new deal for Travis Kelce. Kelce’s extension comes on the heels of the Eagles locking up Zach Ertz earlier this week.
Kelce, a third-round pick in 2013, enjoyed the most productive season of his three-year NFL career in 2015, establishing or matching career highs with 72 receptions, 875 receiving yards, and five touchdowns.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), the value of Kelce’s new deal surpasses Ertz’s — it’s a five-year extension that’s worth $46MM in total, with $20.5MM in guaranteed money. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that the guarantee is a little smaller than that, at $20.017MM, but either way, it’s in that neighborhood.
Although Kelce and Ertz were both selected in the same draft and extended in the same week, it looks like Julius Thomas‘ contract with the Jaguars is a closer point of comparison for Kelce’s extension. Thomas’ five-year contract with Jacksonville was also worth $46MM over five years, with $21MM in guarantees.
While Thomas’ $21MM was fully guaranteed, it’s not clear yet if Kelce’s $20MM+ will be. It’s worth noting that Thomas had more leverage than the Chiefs tight end, since he reached the open market, rather than signing an extension a year away from free agency.
Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that Kelce’s extension includes a $10MM signing bonus, and has a max value of $50MM. At $9.2MM per year, Kelce would tie Thomas as the league’s second highest-paid tight end, but if he maxes out on incentives and bonuses, he could match Jimmy Graham, the NFL’s highest-paid tight end, at $10MM annually.
With Kelce and Ertz locked up, a third notable tight end from that 2013 draft, Washington’s Jordan Reed, appears to be next in line for an extension of his own, and his representatives figure to argue that he deserves more than the two players extended this week. Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert could also discuss a new deal with Cincinnati this offseason, though his team will hold a fifth-year option for 2017 on him.
As for the Chiefs, their next priority may be addressing this year’s free-agents-to-be, including safety Eric Berry.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.