NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. is making a different kind of splash play, announcing on Instagram that he’s agreed to take the remainder of his 2021 salary in Bitcoin.
OBJ, who also announced today that he’s expecting his first child with girlfriend Lauren Wood (h/t Buzzfeed), signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 12 worth as much as $4.25 million after being released from a controversial and unproductive stint with the Cleveland Browns. It’s unclear exactly how much of that money he’ll be getting in crypto, though; his post specifically said his “salary” would be paid in Bitcoin, but his total compensation reportedly breaks down as a $750,000 salary, a $500,000 signing bonus, with the rest made up by performance incentives. He’s still owed more than $4 million from his last contract with the Browns.
Another question is whether Beckham will get his Bitcoin bag directly from the Rams or from the digital payment company Ca$hApp, which allows users to buy Bitcoin and store it in digital wallets, and which Beckham also said is partnering with him to give away $1 million of his money in the cryptocurrency.
Whatever happens, Beckham and some other athletes are drawing a roadmap for how athletes and entrepreneurs can get a bag by getting paid in crypto. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Saquon Barkley all have either compensation or investment deals involving crypto, according to Newsweek.
Getting paid in crypto comes with risk. Bitcoin is the world’s top cryptocurrency by value and while you still can’t spend it everywhere, it’s being increasingly adopted by Wall Street, companies and individuals. Just like any other market-traded commodity, Bitcoin’s value can drop as fast as it rises, which means Odell and the others are risking their salaries if the market goes south. In fact, Bitcoin had a crash on Nov. 16 that wiped out almost 8 percent of its value before rebounding.