Chiefs, TE Travis Kelce Agree To Deal

The Chiefs have kept their decision-making nucleus in place for years to come, and the same is also true of All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. The latter has agreed to a two-year extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The team has since announced the move.

This deal will make Kelce the league’s highest-paid tight end, Rapoport adds. That comes as little surprise considering the success Kelce has had in recent years and the pivotal role he has played in Kansas City’s three Super Bowl titles across the past four seasons. The future Hall of Famer is now on the books through 2027.

Rapoport’s colleague Tom Pelissero notes Kelce will receive $34.25MM in new money tacked onto the two years which were in place on his previous pact. Guaranteed compensation is now in place for 2024, and Pelissero notes year-over-year vesting will lock in money for future years.

In terms of annual compensation, Darren Waller entered this offseason atop the tight end pecking order ($17MM). This new Kelce deal will surpass that mark, meaning he will receive a raise compared to the remainder of his existing contract. That deal carried an AAV of just over $14.3MM, which ranked fourth at the position. The 34-year-old was due $13MM in 2024 and $17.25MM the following year, but his remaining base salaries those seasons were not guaranteed.

Kelce was inactive for the Chiefs’ regular season finale in 2023, and that left him just short of the 1,000-yard mark for the campaign. That ended a streak of reaching 1,000 or more yards in seven straight seasons, but it still yielded a ninth consecutive Pro Bowl nod. The Cincinnati product has added four first-team All-Pro nods and a place on the 2010s All-Decade team list to his decorated resume.

Of course, Kelce’s significance to the Chiefs’ title-winning teams will be a major aspect of his legacy. The former third-rounder is one of only three players in NFL history to lead a Super Bowl champion in receiving yards three times (the other two being Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin). Kelce will be counted on as Patrick Mahomes‘ top target for years to come.

Kansas City dealt with inconsistencies in the receiving corps during the 2023 season, and many of the team’s top WR options are still in the fold. Rashee Rice faces a potential suspension, and the likes of Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore and Justin Watson have not lived up to expectations so far. The Chiefs signed Marquise Brown in free agency and selected Xavier Worthy in the first round of the draft, but Kelce is by far the most known commodity in the team’s skill position room.

Concerns about the latter’s age will likely be raised with this new pact, one which runs counter to his previous stance regarding being paid below market value. Kelce made it clear during the postseason that retirement is not on his mind, though, and this agreement confirms he will be in place for years to come. As such, the foundational elements of Kansas City’s success are set to return for the 2024 campaign and beyond.

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