7 NFL players that chose crypto over cash salaries

For
NFL
fans,
2021
was
a
great
year.
Stadiums
returned
to
capacity
crowds
after
the
2020
season
was
shortened
with
limited
attendance.
Stadium
parking
lots
were
again
filled
with
the
enthusiastic
anticipation
of
tailgaters
and
their
barbequed
camaraderie. 

It
was
also
a
great
year
for
Bitcoin
(BTC)
investors
as
the
largest
cryptocurrency
by
market
capitalization
reached
all-time
high
prices
multiple
times
throughout
2021,
eventually
topping
out
at
$69,000
in
early
November.
This
led
to
a
dramatic
increase
in
media
coverage
of
Bitcoin.

Seven
NFL
players
in
2021
decided
to
call
the
audible
and
begin
either
being
paid
in
crypto
or
having
their
cash
salary
partially
converted
to
crypto.
These
players
have
capitalized
on
the
return
of
the
regular
season
and
the
increased
profitability
of
Bitcoin.

Aaron
Rodgers

The
reigning
2020
NFL
MVP
announced
via
a
Nov.
1

video
post
on
Twitter

that
he
was
partnering
with
Cash
App
payment
service
to
accept
a
portion
of
his
salary
in
Bitcoin.
Rodgers
will
earn
roughly
$22.3
million
this
year.

The
video
depicted
Rodgers
dressed
as
John
Wick
for
a
Halloween
party.
If
that
wasn’t
strange
enough,
likely
by
design,
Rodgers
also
told
viewers
that
he
would
donate
$1
million
in
BTC.

In
Rodgers’
case,
he
will
have
a
portion
of
his
salary
sent
to
his
Cash
App
account,
which
he
will
then
use
to
buy
BTC. 

The
Twitter
profile
for
the
star
quarterback
for
the
Green
Bay
Packers

features

a
picture
of
himself
on
the
field
during
a
game
with
the
iconic
laser
eyes,
further
signaling
his
support
for
BTC.

Tom
Brady

Tom
Brady
is
another
very
high-profile
NFL
star
quarterback
who
dabbled
heavily
in
cryptocurrency
in
2021.
Brady
has
not
yet
said
that
he
is
being
paid
in
BTC
by
the
NFL,
but
he
will
be
paid
in
crypto
by
FTX
exchange
after
he
took
an
equity
stake
in
Sam
Bankman-Fried’s
exchange,
and
will
serve
as
a
brand
ambassador.

Brady
has
not
reserved
himself
to
crypto
assets
alone,
however.
The
iconic
football
star

launched
his
own
NFT
platform
,
called
Autograph,
in
April
to
attract
the
top
talent
in
sports,
entertainment,
fashion
and
pop
culture.

It
doesn’t
end
there
for
Brady
and
crypto,
though.
Late
in
October,
Brady
threw
the
600th
passing
touchdown
of
his
career,
marking
an
all-time
high
for
the
NFL,
and
helping
to
secure
Brady’s
position
as
the
all-time
leading
touchdown
passer
in
the
league’s
history.
Brady
paid
1
BTC
to
the
fan
who
was
initially
given
the
ball
by
the
receiver
who
completed
the
touchdown.

That
BTC
was
worth
about
$62,000
at
the
time
of
the
game,
but
the
ball
itself
may
be

worth
over
$500,000

according
to
Goldin
Auctions
sports
memorabilia
auction
company.

Odell
Beckham
Jr.

Odell
Beckham
Jr.
(OBJ)
followed
in
Aaron
Rodgers’
footsteps
by
announcing

late
in
November

that
he
had

partnered
with
Cash
App

to
receive
his
salary
from
the
NFL
in
BTC.
His
contract
stipulates
that
he
should
receive
about
$4.25
million
from
the
NFL
this
season.

The
Los
Angeles
Rams’
wide
receiver
told
fans
that
he
would
give
back
$1
million
in
BTC
as
part
of
his
new
partnership
with
Cash
App.
Beckham
appears
to
be
no
stranger
to
the
crypto
and
NFT
scene
as
his
Twitter
profile
dons
a
Crypto
Punk
NFT.

In
case
you
haven’t
noticed,
Jack
Dorsey’s
Cash
App
is
involved
with
both
OBJ’s
and
Aaron
Rodgers’
BTC
salary
deal.
The
payment
service
app
has

had
a
great
2021

through
the
first
three
quarters
of
the
year
by
raking
in
nearly
$10
billion
in
revenue
from
36
million
active
users
and
100
million
downloads.

Trevor
Lawrence

The
Carolina
Panthers’
new
star
quarterback
joined
the
ranks
of
NFL
superstars
who
are
publicly
accepting
crypto
payments.
Lawrence’s
deal,
however,
is
not
with
the
NFL
directly.
The
2021
NFL
top
draft
pick’s
crypto
salary
comes

from
an
endorsement
deal

with
the
crypto
portfolio
app
FTX
(formerly
Blockfolio).

The
value
of
his
deal
has
not
been
made
public,
but
if
Lawrence
has
been
hodling
his
crypto
earnings,
there
is
a
good
chance
he
has
enjoyed
an
appreciation
in
value,
especially
from
the
Solana
(SOL)
coins.
The
total
crypto
market
cap
has
increased
by
about
$500
billion
since
late
April
when
the
deal
was
announced.

Saquon
Barkley

Saquon
Barkley,
the
superstar
running
back
from
the
New
York
Giants,
revealed
in
July
that
he
was
converting
all
of
his

endorsement
pay
into
BTC
.
As
with
most
others
on
this
list,
Barkley
is
not
being
paid
directly
with
crypto.
Instead,
he
is
swapping
some
of
his
cash
earnings
for
crypto.

Barkley
is
using
the
Strike
payment
app
to
acquire
his
BTC.
He
is
not
the
first
NFL
player
to
use
Strike
to
buy
BTC
with
his
salary,
however.
Last
year,
former
NFL
offensive
lineman
Russel
Okung
became
the
first
player
to
publicly
share
that
he
was
using
Strike
to
convert
his
NFL
salary
to
BTC.

Barkley’s
reasoning
for
trying
to
amass
wealth
with
BTC
revolved
around
the
lack
of
longevity
among
NFL
athletes.
He
told

The
Best
Business
Show

host
Anthony
Pompliano
on
July
15:

“When
you
see
the
KD’s,
the
Lebrons
and
Bradys
of
the
world
and
you
want
to
create
generational
wealth,
you
can’t
do
that
with
the
sport
that
I
play
and
the
position
that
I
play
and
coming
off
of
injuries.
When
you
sit
out
of
football
for
a
whole
year,
you
realize
that
this
game
could
be
taken
away
from
you.”

Sean
Culkin

Kansas
City
Chiefs’
tight
end
Sean
Culkin
went
public
with
his
plans
to

convert

his
entire
salary
from
the
NFL
into
BTC.
While
others
on
this
list
committed
to
converting
only
a
portion
of
their
salary
into
Bitcoin
or
being
paid
for
endorsements
with
cryptos,
Culkin
is
swapping
100%
of
his
salary.

Like
with
Saquon
Barkley,
Culkin’s
reasoning
for
turning
to
crypto
has
to
do
with
the
short
half-life
common
among
players
in
the
league.
The
average
time
most
athletes
spend
in
the
NFL
is
3.3
years,

according

to
Statista.
Culkin
said
in
a
statement:

“Considering
my
career—particularly
its
physical
demands,
and
brevity–it
makes
the
most
sense
to
be
paid
in
sound
money
that
I
believe
protects
its
purchasing
power
over
time.”

Aaron
Jones

Last
but
certainly
not
least
on
the
list
of
NFL
stars
earning
crypto
is
the
Green
Bay
Packers’
Aaron
Jones.
The
running
back

signed
a
deal
with
FTX

to
become
an
ambassador
for
the
exchange
in
September.
Like
with
Tom
Brady’s
deal,
Jones
purchased
an
equity
stake
in
the
exchange.

Jones
will
also
integrate
the
FTX
Pay
platform
into
his
own
charity’s
website
to
enable
it
to
accept
crypto
donations.

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