Chiefs executive defends ‘unicorn’ Travis Kelce’s contract extension: ‘He’s shown no signs of slowing down’

Chiefs executive defends ‘unicorn’ Travis Kelce’s contract extension: ‘He’s shown no signs of slowing down’


Three-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce will celebrate his 35th birthday a few weeks after the 2024 NFL season kicks off. 

For the first time in seven years, Kelce finished a season with less than 1,000 receiving yards. Although he is still one of the most productive tight ends in the league, some began to wonder if the upcoming season could be his final year suiting up for the Kansas City Chiefs.

But Kelce and the Chiefs put those rumors to rest as the star tight end agreed to a multiyear contract extension.

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Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce scores a touchdown during the first half of the wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

The deal makes Kelce the highest-paid player at his position in the NFL. It also ties Kelce to the franchise through the 2027 season. He will be 38 years old when his contract expiries.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach expressed confidence in Kelce’s ability to produce at a high level for the foreseeable future.

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“Every now and then you have one of these guys that are outliers, and certainly Travis [Kelce] is one of those players,’ Veach said Monday. “It’s funny, it’s not even May yet, and today we had a chance to get out there in phase 2 and guys were out there running around. Travis was the first guy in line, and he looked like he was 28 years old.”

“Again, the odds of someone playing this far into their 30s is very low, but it does happen, and it happens with unicorns in the profession, and Travis is one of those.”

Travis Kelce points

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (AP Photo/Ed Zurga/File)

Veach went on to say that, from his point of view, Kelce has plenty of gas left in the tank.

“We’ll certainly celebrate this with him, and hopefully we can ride this thing even longer,” Veach said. “We’ll just have to wait and see, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down. Everyone notices the kind of postseason he had; he just found an extra gear. These special players are always able to find that extra gear and, again, if anybody can do it, Travis can.”

Kansas City vs Philadelphia eagles Super Bowl LVII

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce runs after a catch against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Despite last season’s slight dip in his receiving yards and recording his lowest number of touchdown receptions since 2019, Kelce shook off any concerns about a potential decline once the NFL playoffs kicked off.

He finished the postseason with 32 catches for 355 yards and three touchdowns. Kelce particularly shined in the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens, catching 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Kansas City won its third Lombardi Trophy in the past five seasons.

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Kansas City drafted Kelce in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He currently has 11,328 career receiving yards, which is fourth on the all-time list for tight ends.

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