With two Super Bowl wins and several NFL records under his belt, Kansas City Chief Travis Kelce is widely regarded as one of the best tight ends in pro football—and his whirlwind romance with pop superstar Taylor Swift has only brought more attention to his performance on the field, with hordes of Swifties becoming Chiefs fans during the 2023 season.
But despite being seemingly unstoppable right now, Kelce is is currently only the fourth highest paid athlete to play as a tight end, after T.J. Hockenson with the Minnesota Vikings, Darren Walker with the New York Giants, and George Kittle with the San Francisco 49ers, per USA Today.
Kelce is in the third year of a four-year contract with the Chiefs worth $57.25 million, securing him an annual salary of $14.3 million until 2026. However, the tight end admitted in January 2023 that the Chiefs’ adherence to the NFL salary cap has been a source of frustration.
“My managers and agents love to tell me how underpaid I am,” Kelce said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Any time I talk about wanting more money, they’re just like, ‘Why don’t you go to the Chiefs and ask them?” He cited former teammate Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2022 and immediately started earning “two to three times” what Kelce was making with the Chiefs.
“You see how much more money you could be making and, yeah, it hits you in the gut a little bit. It makes you think you’re being taken advantage of,” he added. “I don’t know if I really pressed the gas if I would get what I’m quote-unquote worth… But I know I enjoy coming to that building every single day.”
In addition to his NFL salary, Kelce’s income also includes several lucrative endorsement deals with major brands like Nike, Old Spice, T-Mobile and Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as fast food companies McDonald’s and Papa John’s, all of which amount to an additional $5 million per year, Insider reports. And his increased profile as a result of his relationship with Swift only makes him an even hotter prospect for brand partnerships: sales of Travis Kelce merch went through the roof after the singer attended her first Chiefs game.
According to estimates by Celebrity Net Worth and Yahoo! Finance, Kelce has a net worth of approximately $40 million—up from a reported $30 million last year. Which sure sounds like a lot, but to give it context, that works out to less than the ticket sales from his multimillionaire musician girlfriend’s record-breaking Eras tour.
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.