Sometimes, NFL stars prioritize happiness over money.
Travis Kelsey said in an interview with Vanity Fair on Wednesday, for example, that the record-setting tight end could make substantially more money by leaving the Kansas City Chiefs. But he prefers to “get pennies”, because he loves his team.
“The free market looks fun until you go somewhere and you don’t win,” Kelsey said. “I love winning. I love the situation I’m in.”
Kelce’s average base salary is currently $14.3 million. This year, he will earn $11.25 million, which is the 51st highest salary in the NFL. But he said his managers and clients regularly tell him he is “underpaid”.
For example, former Kansas City teammate Tyrek Hill signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins last year with an average base salary of $30 million, plus a $25.5 million signing bonus.
“It really shows how important I am to them rather than how valuable I can be to Miami,” Hill told CBS Sports last year.
Kelsey’s approach arguably helps his team win: Kansas City was victorious in the Super Bowl in February, and made it to the big game in 2021 and 2020. Players Association.
“You see how much money you can make, and yeah, it hits you a little bit. It makes you think you’re being taken advantage of,” Kelsey said, adding, “But I know I enjoy coming to that building every day.”
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found in 2021 that the more money you make, the happier you are likely to be—unless you make more than $500,000 a year, which is when the correlation starts to plateau.
And lately, enjoying your job has become more of a priority than a higher salary for many Americans. Most American workers wouldn’t give up work-life balance for any salary increase of less than $10,000, according to a 2020 survey by the job site Career.
Kelce’s potential salary increase is likely to be more than $10,000 a year – but it doesn’t seem like he’s budging.
“Of workers who currently enjoy a balanced lifestyle, they will be hard-pressed to give it up,” Cori Colliton, the chief researcher of the job site Career at the time, told CNBC Make It in 2020. This indicates how important flexibility is. For professionals who have had the opportunity to see how this affects their daily lives. “
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