For NFL followers, 2021 was an awesome yr. Stadiums returned to capability crowds after the 2020 season was shortened with restricted attendance. Stadium parking heaps have been once more crammed with the enthusiastic anticipation of tailgaters and their barbequed camaraderie.
It was additionally an awesome yr for Bitcoin (BTC) traders as the most important cryptocurrency by market capitalization reached all-time excessive costs a number of occasions all through 2021, ultimately topping out at $69,000 in early November. This led to a dramatic enhance in media protection of Bitcoin.
Seven NFL gamers in 2021 determined to name the audible and start both being paid in crypto or having their money wage partially transformed to crypto. These gamers have capitalized on the return of the common season and the elevated profitability of Bitcoin.
The reigning 2020 NFL MVP introduced by way of a Nov. 1 video post on Twitter that he was partnering with Money App fee service to just accept a portion of his wage in Bitcoin. Rodgers will earn roughly $22.3 million this yr.
The video depicted Rodgers dressed as John Wick for a Halloween occasion. If that wasn’t unusual sufficient, probably by design, Rodgers additionally advised viewers that he would donate $1 million in BTC.
In Rodgers’ case, he may have a portion of his wage despatched to his Money App account, which he’ll then use to purchase BTC.
The Twitter profile for the star quarterback for the Inexperienced Bay Packers features an image of himself on the sphere throughout a sport with the enduring laser eyes, additional signaling his help for BTC.
Tom Brady is one other very high-profile NFL star quarterback who dabbled closely in cryptocurrency in 2021. Brady has not but mentioned that he’s being paid in BTC by the NFL, however he will likely be paid in crypto by FTX alternate after he took an fairness stake in Sam Bankman-Fried’s alternate, and can function a model ambassador.
Brady has not reserved himself to crypto property alone, nevertheless. The enduring soccer star launched his own NFT platform, known as Autograph, in April to draw the highest expertise in sports activities, leisure, trend and popular culture.
Tom Brady moving into Crypto was a high sign pic.twitter.com/hc6qxQou9o
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) October 20, 2021
It doesn’t finish there for Brady and crypto, although. Late in October, Brady threw the 600th passing landing of his profession, marking an all-time excessive for the NFL, and serving to to safe Brady’s place because the all-time main landing passer within the league’s historical past. Brady paid 1 BTC to the fan who was initially given the ball by the receiver who accomplished the landing.
That BTC was value about $62,000 on the time of the sport, however the ball itself could also be worth over $500,000 in response to Goldin Auctions sports activities memorabilia public sale firm.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) adopted in Aaron Rodgers’ footsteps by saying late in November that he had partnered with Cash App to obtain his wage from the NFL in BTC. His contract stipulates that he ought to obtain about $4.25 million from the NFL this season.
The Los Angeles Rams’ broad receiver advised followers that he would give again $1 million in BTC as a part of his new partnership with Money App. Beckham seems to be no stranger to the crypto and NFT scene as his Twitter profile dons a Crypto Punk NFT.
In case you haven’t seen, Jack Dorsey’s Money App is concerned with each OBJ’s and Aaron Rodgers’ BTC wage deal. The fee service app has had a great 2021 by means of the primary three quarters of the yr by raking in almost $10 billion in income from 36 million lively customers and 100 million downloads.
The Carolina Panthers’ new star quarterback joined the ranks of NFL superstars who’re publicly accepting crypto funds. Lawrence’s deal, nevertheless, is just not with the NFL instantly. The 2021 NFL high draft choose’s crypto wage comes from an endorsement deal with the crypto portfolio app FTX (previously Blockfolio).
Congrats on being the #1 choose @Trevorlawrencee!
We have got a shock for you — verify your @blockfolio account for $25k of SOL.
Tonight is on crypto, because of you! pic.twitter.com/ci8yHp3e8W
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) April 30, 2021
The worth of his deal has not been made public, but when Lawrence has been hodling his crypto earnings, there’s a good likelihood he has loved an appreciation in worth, particularly from the Solana (SOL) cash. The entire crypto market cap has elevated by about $500 billion since late April when the deal was introduced.
Saquon Barkley, the celebrity working again from the New York Giants, revealed in July that he was changing all of his endorsement pay into BTC. As with most others on this record, Barkley is just not being paid instantly with crypto. As a substitute, he’s swapping a few of his money earnings for crypto.
Barkley is utilizing the Strike fee app to accumulate his BTC. He’s not the primary NFL participant to make use of Strike to purchase BTC along with his wage, nevertheless. Final yr, former NFL offensive lineman Russel Okung grew to become the primary participant to publicly share that he was utilizing Strike to transform his NFL wage to BTC.
Barkley’s reasoning for making an attempt to amass wealth with BTC revolved across the lack of longevity amongst NFL athletes. He advised The Greatest Enterprise Present host Anthony Pompliano on July 15:
“Whenever you see the KD’s, the Lebrons and Bradys of the world and also you need to create generational wealth, you possibly can’t do this with the game that I play and the place that I play and coming off of accidents. Whenever you sit out of soccer for an entire yr, you notice that this sport might be taken away from you.”
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs’ tight finish Sean Culkin went public along with his plans to convert his whole wage from the NFL into BTC. Whereas others on this record dedicated to changing solely a portion of their wage into Bitcoin or being paid for endorsements with cryptos, Culkin is swapping 100% of his wage.
I totally imagine Bitcoin is the way forward for finance and I wished to show that I’ve actual pores and skin within the sport — not simply making an attempt to make a fast buck. I will likely be changing my whole 2021 NFL wage to #Bitcoin.
— Sean Culkin (@culkin22) April 26, 2021
Like with Saquon Barkley, Culkin’s reasoning for turning to crypto has to do with the quick half-life frequent amongst gamers within the league. The typical time most athletes spend within the NFL is 3.3 years, according to Statista. Culkin mentioned in a press release:
“Contemplating my profession—notably its bodily calls for, and brevity–it makes probably the most sense to be paid in sound cash that I imagine protects its buying energy over time.”
Final however definitely not least on the record of NFL stars incomes crypto is the Inexperienced Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones. The working again signed a deal with FTX to develop into an envoy for the alternate in September. Like with Tom Brady’s deal, Jones bought an fairness stake within the alternate.
Jones may also combine the FTX Pay platform into his personal charity’s web site to allow it to just accept crypto donations.
— Aaron Jones 3️⃣3️⃣ (@Showtyme_33) December 9, 2021