KANSAS CITY, Mo. – One of the Chiefs’ rising stars isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The Chiefs on Friday made sure of that by announcing the signing of tight end Travis Kelce to a contract extension.
“Today we reached an agreement with Travis and his representatives on a contract extension,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “He’s a talented football player that has become an important piece to what we do offensively. Travis is a high-character guy and a leader in our locker room.”
The 25-year-old Kelce took a moment Friday while in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl to thank Dorsey, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, coach Andy Reid, the coaching staff and teammates for believing in him.
And Kelce, a native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is thrilled his future includes being in a Chiefs uniform during the prime years of his career.
“I’m ecstatic,” Kelce said in a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “I can’t be more thankful, more happy of the situation I’m in right now.
“I love Kansas City to death. I embraced it ever since I got there. The community absolutely loves the Chiefs and the Royals. It’s a blue-collar city just like I grew up in and I can’t be thankful enough for how they embraced me as a player. It’s an exciting day.”
The 6-5, 260-pound Kelce signed a five-year, $46 million extension with $20.5 million guaranteed, a source confirmed with ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Chiefs did not release the terms of the contract.
With the size of the contract, Kelce understands and embraces the responsibilities with being one of the NFL’s highest-paid tight ends.
“It’s hard to bring all this to reality, it’s just a very thankful opportunity for me, but with all of this comes a lot of responsibility,” Kelce said. “I mean, right now I’m more motivated than ever to go out there and be a dominant performer for the Chiefs for many years to come.”
Kelce, who was set to enter the 2016 season in the final year of his rookie contract before Friday’s extension, joined the Chiefs as the first of two third-round picks (63rd overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft.
He has appeared in 33 games with 27 starts, totaling 1,737 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns on 139 receptions.
Kelce comes off a season where he caught 72 passes for 875 yards and five touchdowns to earn his first career trip to the Pro Bowl.
“I’m living the dream, literally,” Kelce said.