The price of Bitcoin (BTC) seems to go in hand with the National Football League (NFL) in 2021. The reason is, 2021 was a brilliant year for Bitcoin as well as an extraordinary season for the team that competed in the professional American football competition and their respective supporters.
The reason is, now stadium capacity in the United States is almost back to normal after previously the number of game spectators was limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic that hit.
On the other hand, for Bitcoin investors, it has also been an exciting year as the largest cryptocurrency by market cap has broken its all-time high (ATH) several times so far this year—until it finally hit $69,000 in early November.
Of course, that led to a dramatic increase in media coverage of Bitcoin. With that in mind, below are seven NFL players who in 2021 have opted to start getting paid in crypto or have their cash salaries partially converted to these digital assets.
7 NFL players who get paid with crypto – Bitcoin prices
The 2020 NFL MVP announced that he is partnering with a Cash App payment service to receive a portion of his salary in Bitcoin. This was announced by Rodgers through his video upload on November 1 last on Twitter.
With this partnership, the athlete this year will earn about $22.3 million. In the video, Rodgers is seen dressed as John Wick for a Halloween party. In addition, Rodgers also stated to the viewer of the video that he would donate $1 million in BTC. To note, a portion of Rodgers’ salary will later be sent to his Cash App account, which he then uses to buy Bitcoin.
Tom Brady getting into Crypto was a top signal ???????? ???? ???? ???? pic.twitter.com/hc6qxQou9o
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) October 20, 2021
A very popular NFL star quarterback is known to have started eyeing cryptocurrencies this year. Although it has not been confirmed that he will be paid in BTC by the NFL, he does admit that he will be paid in crypto by the FTX exchange.
This happened after the players took equity stakes in the Sam Bankman-Fried exchange and would become brand ambassadors there. However, Brady himself is not only related to crypto assets because he is known have launched his own NFT platform.
Brady’s NFT is called Autograph. In April, the platform was launched to attract top talent in sports, entertainment, fashion and pop culture. Then, at the end of October, the iconic football star also made his 600th career touchdown pass—marking an all-time high for the NFL—while helping to secure his position as the all-time leading touchdown passer in league history.
For that, Brady paid 1 BTC to the fan who was initially given the ball by the receiver who completed the touchdown. For information, the price of Bitcoin at that time was worth around $62,000. However, according to sports memorabilia auction company Goldin Auctions, the ball itself may be worth more than $500,000.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Following the steps of Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) also announced at the end of last November that he had faced a Cash App to receive his salary from the NFL in BTC.
According to his contract, OBJ should receive approximately $4.25 million from the NFL this season. OBJ has also informed fans that it will return $1 million in Bitcoin as part of its new partnership with Cash App.
Beckham himself is no stranger to crypto and NFT because the player’s Twitter profile is known to use Crypto Punk NFT.
Congrats on being the #1 pick @Trevorlawrencee!
We've got a surprise for you — check your @blockfolio account for $25k of SOL.
Tonight is on crypto, thanks to you! pic.twitter.com/ci8yHp3e8W
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) April 30, 2021
The next list of NFL superstars to accept crypto payouts is from Carolina Panthers quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Lawrence deal did not happen directly with the NFL. The reason, the salary of the top draft crypto pick of the 2021 NFL is known to come from an endorsement deal with crypto portfolio app FTX (or previously Blockfolio).
Meanwhile, the value of the deal itself has not been announced. However, if Lawrence holds back his crypto earnings, he may well enjoy appreciating value, particularly from the Solana (SOL) coin.
A superstar who returned from the New York Giants in July 2021 stated that he had converted all of his endorsment into Bitcoin. Like the other top players on this list, Barkley himself is not paid directly with crypto.
In exchange, the player exchanges half of his cash income for crypto. He also uses the payment application Strike to get his Bitcoin. However, he is not the first NFL player to use Strike to buy BTC with his salary.
The reason is, in 2020, former NFL offensive midfielder, Russel Okung, became the first player to publicly admit that he used Strike to convert his NFL salary into Bitcoin.
I fully believe Bitcoin is the future of finance and I wanted to prove that I have real skin in the game — not just trying to make a quick buck. I will be converting my entire 2021 NFL salary to #Bitcoin.
— Sean Culkin (@culkin22) April 26, 2021
Next on the list is Sean Culkin, who has already announced his plans to convert his entire salary from the NFL to Bitcoin. This is, of course, somewhat different from most of the NFL superstars on this list who commit to converting only part of their salary into Bitcoin or get paid for endorsements with crypto. Culkin himself admitted that he exchanged 100% of his salary in Bitcoin.
Got my first NFT Shout out to @MaisonDeGOAT thank you for welcoming me to the herd #GOATz
Excited to be apart of the community !!! pic.twitter.com/oLRquKjGRE
— Aaron Jones 3??3?? (@Showtyme_33) December 9, 2021
Next on the list of NFL stars to opt for a paycheck in crypto is Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers. The runner re-signed a deal with FTX to become an ambassador for the exchange in September 2021.
As with Tom Brady’s agreement earlier, Jones also bought equity shares on the stock exchange. In addition, he will also integrate the FTX Pay platform into his own philanthropic website to allow him to accept crypto donations.
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