Chiefs make Travis Kelce NFL’s highest-paid tight end with 2-year extension

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Four-time All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce signed a two-year contract extension Monday with the Kansas City Chiefs, making him the highest-paid tight end for the first time in his 11-year career.

“It feels good to be in K.C.,” a smiling Kelce said in a video the team released just minutes after he signed the contract. “I remember coming here 12 years ago, man. It’s an honor and a pleasure. I can’t wait to get after it these next two years, but no better than right now. I’m getting fired up for this year.”

The extension, which runs through the 2027 season, is set to pay Kelce $17 million fully guaranteed this year. His $17.25 million salary in 2025 is mostly guaranteed, according to a league source.

Kelce will turn 35 in October. His extension with the Chiefs appears to be the first indication that he could retire after the 2025 season.

“It’s hard to put into words what Travis means to this organization, this city,” general manager Brett Veach said Monday in his post-draft news conference. “He was certainly a priority to adjust his contract for us. It was something that was important for (club owner) Clark (Hunt). It’s very fitting that Travis is now the highest-paid tight end.

“It’s a really special day in this organization to once again recognize arguably one of the greatest tight ends to ever do it.”

Kelce helped lead the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl victory last season while leading the team with 93 receptions for 984 yards during the regular season. During the Chiefs’ four-game postseason run, Kelce elevated his performance, generating 32 receptions for 355 yards and three touchdowns.

He is a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Chiefs, a nine-time Pro Bowler and a four-time first-team All-Pro.

Before Super Bowl LVIII in early February, Kelce reiterated that he wasn’t planning to retire, especially with quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the prime of his career.

“I told y’all I’ll never let him leave!!” Mahomes wrote on his X account about Kelce. “Congrats my guy!”

Kelce became a household name last season thanks in part to his relationship with pop superstar Taylor Swift and the podcast, “New Heights,” that he hosts with his brother, retired Philadelphia Eagles great Jason Kelce.

In addition to his celebrity status, Kelce has been one of the NFL’s most productive tight ends. His 907 career receptions and 11,328 career receiving yards rank fourth all time among tight ends.

“Today we had a chance to get out there in phase two (of the team’s offseason program) and guys were out there running around and Travis was the first guy in line,” Veach said. “He looked like he was 28 years old. The odds of someone playing this far into their 30s are very low, but it does happen. It happens with just unicorns in the profession and Travis is one of those.

“He’s shown no signs of slowing down. Everyone noticed the kind of postseason he had. He just found an extra gear. These special players are always able to find that extra gear. If anybody can do it, Travis can.”

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(Photo: David Eulitt / Getty Images)

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