Sean Culkin and bitcoin were a nice human interest-cryptocurrency-NFL story when Culkin said he’d take his NFL paycheck in bitcoin.
The problem was, as a fringe tight end prospect Culkin was no sure thing to make the team.
On Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs turned his hope into a painful reality, releasing Culkin prior to rookie camp.
Culkin was trying to follow the path of longtime (established) NFL standout Russell Okung, the NFL offensive tackle who converted half his salary into bitcoin starting late last year.
Okung’s deal was for $13 million; Culkin’s was going to be $920,000.
Prior to being let go by the Chiefs, Culkin explained his situation to ESPN:
“I’ve always had a lot of interest in and a passion for finance and economics from my days at Mizzou,” Culkin said. “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 offseason 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 had planned to be the first NFL player to convert 100% of his paycheck to cryptocurrency and had hoped to earn a position as a backup behind starter Travis Kelce.
Things went south recently, though, as the Chiefs signed veteran tight end Blake Bell in free agency and then acquired another, Noah Gray of Duke, in NFL draft at the end of April.