Travis Kelce says he was ‘damn near dead broke' during his rookie year in the NFL

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By the end of his first year in the National Football League, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was "damn near dead broke," he said on his weekly "New Heights" podcast in May.

Despite a 2013 contract worth $3.12 million and a $703,304 signing bonus, Travis had little to show for his rookie season earnings, aside from "some of my favorite shoes," he said on the podcast, which is co-hosted with his brother and Philadelphia Eagles center, Jason Kelce.

"I had my eyes on a pair of size 13 Nike Air MAG 'Marty McFlys' — the coolest shoes that I'd ever seen in my life," Travis said. "As soon as I got my check, I immediately went online and sourced them."

A shoe collector, Travis said he spent around $10,000 on the limited edition sneaker.

"Somebody came up to me and told me that you had bought those shoes and I looked up how much they were and I remember being like, 'What the f--- , Travis,'" laughed Jason.

Travis's rookie season spending habits didn't get better from there. Between games, he often traveled to Las Vegas and Florida, spending "way too much money in clubs."

"The dumbest thing I ever bought with my rookie money was bottles in the club," he said, referring to VIP bottle service in nightclubs that can cost thousands of dollars.

"I was avoiding the rent lady because I was so stupid to agree to all those bottles," Travis said. "Rookies out there, don't get caught up in buying bottles, it's the fastest way to lose your money."

Since Travis was only paid early in the year, he says he was nearly broke before the start of his second season. 

"Rookies didn't realize that once the season was over, you weren't getting paid," Jason said. "A lot of people were not realizing that those checks were going to stop."

"I was one of those guys," replied Travis.

Today, Travis is no longer broke. Following a five-year $46 million contract extension in 2016, he signed another four-year extension in 2020, worth just over $57 million. He also makes an estimated $3 million a year outside of football, Forbes reports.

As of fall 2023, Travis has an estimated net worth of $30 million, according to Insider.

And his career continues to soar: In 2023, he won his second Super Bowl with the Chiefs.

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