Travis Kelce, Chiefs Agree to New Contract: Latest Details and Reaction

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2016

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce walks on the field before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the New England Patriots, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

The Kansas City Chiefs announced Thursday they reached an agreement with tight end Travis Kelce on a five-year, $46 million contract extension.

The team confirmed the signing on social media. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network provided the terms of the deal, which includes $20.5 million in guarantees and makes Kelce the second-highest paid TE in the league.

"With all of this comes a lot of responsibility and I'm more motivated than ever," Kelce said, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.

Rapoport noted the contract includes a signing bonus of a little under $10 million and the overall maximum value of the deal is $50 million.

The team's official site passed along comments from general manager John Dorsey about locking the playmaker into a long-term deal.

"Today we reached an agreement with Travis and his representatives on a contract extension," Dorsey said. "He's a talented football player that has become an important piece to what we do offensively. Travis is a high-character guy and a leader in our locker room."

"I'm living the dream, literally," Kelce said of the extension, per Herbie Teope of Chiefs Digest.

"I love Kansas City to death," Kelce added, per team reporter BJ Kissel. "It's a blue-collar city just like I grew up in. I've embraced it from day one. I'm a very thankful person right now. It's hard to bring this back to reality."

Kansas City drafted Kelce in the third round of the 2013 draft, but he missed the entire first year because of a knee injury. He returned to full strength for the 2014 campaign and has developed into a top weapon at the position over the past two years.

The Cincinnati product caught 72 passes for 875 yards and five touchdowns while helping lead the Chiefs to the playoffs this season. He added 14 more grabs for 151 yards in the team's postseason run, which ended with a loss to the New England Patriots in the divisional round.

His success earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl and, as the official announcement alluded, he actually signed the new deal while in Hawaii for the league's all-star game.

At 26 years old, Kelce should just be heading into his peak seasons, which is why it made sense for the Chiefs to get his contract situation settled now. If he continues to build off his success, he'll be worth every penny of the new deal.

He plays a critical role in the offense with a quarterback like Alex Smith, who doesn't take a lot of shots down the field. That makes a reliable tight end essential to offensive success, and Kelce has shown he's more than capable of filling that role.