Odell Beckham has played in 10 games for the Rams (eight regular season and two postseason) since signing with Los Angeles on Nov. 11. He has enjoyed a resurgence since joining Sean McVay’s team, racking up 37 receptions for 428 yards and six touchdowns in that time. lapse. This comes after a six-game stretch this season with the Browns, where Beckham had just 17 receptions for 232 yards and no touchdowns.
Beckham’s contract with the Rams was ultimately a one-year, $1.25 million deal with a base salary of $750,000 and up to $3 million in incentives, all of which hinge on the team’s playoff success. But there is a big drawback to Beckham’s contract: It is not paid entirely in US dollars.
Rather, Beckham is taking the entire contract in Bitcoin, he announced when he signed the deal.
It’s a NEW ERA and to start off I am pleased to announce that I will receive my new salary in bitcoin thanks to @CashApp. TO ALL MY FANS, no matter where you are: THANK YOU! I am also returning a total of $1 million in BTC rn. Leave your $cashtag w. #OBJBTC & follow, continue @CashApp NOW pic.twitter.com/ds1IgZ1zup
—Odell Beckham Jr. (@obj) November 22, 2021
Beckham is far from the first or only NFL player to be paid in Bitcoin, as the likes of Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones and Trevor Lawrence have also followed suit. Russell Okung of the Panthers was the pioneer. He received half of his $13 million salary in Bitcoin last season and was the first player in any major US sports league to receive some or all of his salary in cryptocurrency.
However, it turns out that OBJs may have to play the long game on this investment, as the cryptocurrency market is in a major downturn. It could have major implications for Beckham, Jr. and others.
It has been comical how many people applaud players who switch their salary to Bitcoin like they are heroes.
Rams WR Odell Beckham Jr., at least at this point, provides a cautionary tale. pic.twitter.com/uW0QDdJrYy
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 23, 2022
According to Rovell, Beckham will receive just over $35,000 after taxes and the plummeting price of Bitcoin.
However, it should be noted that Rovell’s math may not be exactly on point. Income tax is a progressive tax. Yes, OBJ would pay the maximum tax rate on the top end of the money, not the entire deal.
To make sense of the deal, if an athlete is paid in Bitcoin, their “salary” would be “1 year, 20 Bitcoin”, for example. That athlete would be paid regardless of the USD exchange rate. If by week 10, Bitcoin was trading at $80,000 or $20,000, it wouldn’t matter if you get Bitcoin through an exchange or a wallet. What OBJ is really doing is receiving payments in USD and then immediately buying Bitcoin. It’s not unlike someone who buys an index fund, Apple stock, or even Rolls Royces with their income and views the investment over time.
At press time, Bitcoin sits at $36,805.60
So if OBJ used his paycheck to buy Bitcoin at $64,000 or $45,000 at paycheck time, those investments have been affected. But if your purchase at $36,805.60 goes back up to $64,000, then you’re in business.
Remember, the NFL now pays its players over the course of 36 weeks instead of the previous pay period, which was week 1-17 of the regular season.
So as the Rams move into the playoffs, Beckham could still get a little more. He earned $500,000 for the Rams’ wild-card win and another $750,000 after this weekend’s divisional round. If the Rams win next week’s NFC title game against the 49ers, he’ll take home another $750,000 and see his bonus go up to $1 million if the Rams win the Super Bowl.
Beckham is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
Will he charge?