Chiefs GM Raves About 'Unicorn' Travis Kelce After Signing Contract Extension

Chiefs GM Brett Veach told reporters that Travis Kelce isn't slowing down entering year 12 in the NFL.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach told reporters that Travis Kelce isn't slowing down entering year 12 in the NFL. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach believes Travis Kelce isn't slowing down as the star tight end prepares to enter year 12 in the NFL.

The Chiefs on Monday signed Kelce to a new, two-year extension worth $34.25 million, making him the highest-paid tight end in the league. After making the deal official, Veach spoke to the media on a Zoom call, telling reporters he believes the veteran tight end is the rare type of player who can play well into his thirties.

"The odds of someone playing this far into the thirties are very low, but it does happen, and it happens with just unicorns in the profession, and Travis is one of those and we'll certainly celebrate this with him and hopefully we can ride this thing even longer," Veach said. "So, we'll just have to wait and see. But I've seen no signs of [Kelce] slowing down and everyone notices the kind of postseason he had, and he just found that extra gear and these special ones, these special players are always able to find that extra gear. If anybody could do it, Travis can.''

Kelce, who will turn 35 in October, produced 984 receiving yards in 2023, his lowest output since the 2015 season. However, the star tight end still led Kansas City in receptions and yards during the regular season, then turned things up a notch in the postseason, racking up 32 catches for 355 yards and four scores while helping the Chiefs win their second straight Super Bowl.

Kelce missed the opening game of the 2023 regular season due to a knee injury, his first missed game due to injury since 2014.

Perhaps in an effort to take some of the load off of Kelce, Kansas City signed free agent wide receiver Marquise Brown to a one-year deal in March, then selected Texas receiver Xavier Worthy in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft this past Thursday.

In 11 seasons, Kelce has amassed 907 receptions for 11,328 yards and 74 touchdowns. He is the NFL's all-time leader in postseason receptions.


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Tim Capurso

TIM CAPURSO

Tim Capurso is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Previously he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, College Football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Tim grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, Tim enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.