Trevor Lawrence has dispelled an erroneous Tuesday report suggesting he had lost significant value in his NFL rookie signing bonus by investing it into cryptocurrency.
The report caught fire from a BetOnline tweet that showed how much money professional athletes had lost by taking their money in cryptocurrency. Near the top of the list was Lawrence, with a listed entry of $24 million — roughly the amount of his NFL signing bonus.
The tweet inaccurately shows a loss of $15 million and a 62.7 percent decrease in value.
Except: Lawrence NEVER took his NFL signing bonus in cryptocurrency. As described in an April 2021 article by Decrypt, the signing bonus in question Lawrence received is from a multi-year, multi-million dollar paid endorsement with Blockfolio, which now goes by FTX, and not with his NFL salary. FTX is a crypto portfolio tracking, purchasing and exchange app.
Though Blockfolio/FTX did not release terms of the deal, it did acknowledge a "significant signing bonus," reported in the low seven figures. That signing bonus was completely invested in cryptocurrency. The report suggesting Lawrence had lost millions of dollars seemed to conflate his NFL signing bonus with the Blockfolio signing bonus.
So, it seems, there is a lot of initial confusion over the Blockfolio/FTX usage of "signing bonus" vs. an NFL "signing bonus."
Lawrence set the record straight on Wednesday in response to a Barstool Sports tweet:
The idea of accepting salaries in cryptocurrency is not a breaking development. Former Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung was a pioneer in the practice, taking half of his $13 million salary with the team in the form of Bitcoin.
The actual practice these athletes are engaging in is taking money in USD and investing it directly into their cryptocurrency of choice. That practice has seemingly come back to bite Rams receiver Odell Beckham Jr., after it was reported his one-year, $1.25 million deal was paid entirely in Bitcoin.
At the time he used his salary to buy Bitcoin, it was worth $64,000. According to a January report from Darren Rovell, the value of Bitcoin had fallen drastically, to roughly $35,000 — a significant loss for Beckham. The receiver could still make his money back and more if Bitcoin appreciates in value, but his plan to invest longterm in the currency undoubtedly resulted in a short-term loss.
That doesn't appear to be the case with Lawrence, whose NFL signing bonus is reportedly not tied to any cryptocurrency.