April 26 (UPI) — If he earns a spot on the Kansas City Chiefs‘ roster to start the 2021 season, tight end Sean Culkin will become the first NFL player to convert his entire salary to Bitcoin.
Culkin, who is attempting to make the Chiefs’ roster as a backup behind starter Travis Kelce, would be paid his $920,000 salary in U.S. dollars, but in turn will convert it to 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,” Culkin wrote Monday on Twitter. “I will be converting my entire 2021 NFL salary to #Bitcoin.”
The 27-year-old Culkin joined the Chiefs in February on a reserve/future contract. Prior to reaching the NFL, he played for the University of Missouri from 2013-16. He earned a finance degree from the school.
“I’ve always had a lot of interest in and a passion for finance and economics from my days at Mizzou,” Culkin told ESPN on Monday. “Even before that, my dad was big, really bullish on gold. Early on, I was always exposed to his philosophies on what made gold an intractable investment looking at it from a macro perspective.
“There’s a lot of overlap between gold and Bitcoin. I really spent all of my time in the off-season the past year just hearing about this growing space in crypto. It just seemed like it was getting bigger and bigger. Through education and learning and having a level of conviction over the course of time, I just felt like I wanted to be compensated from my services in football in Bitcoin.”
Culkin has appeared in 19 career NFL games with the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens. He has two receptions for 36 yards in his career.
In December, veteran offensive lineman Russell Okung announced that about half of his 2020 salary from the Carolina Panthers would be converted to Bitcoin.
Also Monday, former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence — the likely No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, signed an endorsement deal with cryptocurrency investment app Blockfolio. The company said his signing bonus will be in cryptocurrency.