Back in November, Odell Beckham Jr. became the latest athlete/public figure to proclaim their intention to take a portion of their salary in Bitcoin. To be clear, most professional organizations like the NFL do not actually pay their employees in Bitcoin. Whenever you hear someone talking about “taking” their salary in Bitcoin, it almost universally means they are receiving a US dollar direct deposit in their bank from their employer, then converting those dollars into Bitcoin using some crypto app on their own, after-the-fact.
For example, New York City’s new mayor Eric Adams is one of these individuals who is “taking” half his salary in Bitcoin. In reality, that means he’s getting paid his full salary in USD then taking half those dollars and converting them into Bitcoin. This is exactly the same as me saying “I’m taking half my salary in ramen,” in the sense that I typically take my US dollar income and convert it into overpriced ramen 2-3 nights a week delivered via Door Dash.
Anyhoo. Back to Beckham.
As Darren Rovell first noted on Twitter, Odell Beckham Jr.’s foray in Bitcoin has been less than impressive… so far.
On November 12, 2021, Odell signed a one-year deal with the LA Rams that pays him a base salary of $750 thousand. Soon after the deal was announced, Odell revealed he was planning to “take” not just half… but his FULL base salary in Bitcoin through a partnership with Square (which is now called Block).
A quick caveat: NFL players are paid in USD via weekly direct deposits, so it’s not like the NFL paid him $750k on day one. And that’s actually yet another reason these “taking their salary in Bitcoin” articles are typically bogus.
But let’s follow Odell’s own proclamation and assume he “took” his full base salary and converted it into Bitcoin.
Using the numbers dug up by Rovell, in mid-November when the deal was announced, a single Bitcoin was worth…
So at that point, $750,000 USD would have bought 11.66 Bitcoin.
As I type this article a single Bitcoin is worth…
So, today his 11.66 Bitcoin are worth $233,000
Unfortunately, last April the United States Federal government and California tax collectors still wanted their cut of taxes on the full $750,000 salary.
The IRS’ top tax rate is 37%. The state of California will demand 13.3%. That’s a total of 50.3% in taxes, computed off the $750,000, which will mean Odell’s full tax bill is $375,000.
When you put it all together, as of this writing, Odell’s net salary for the 2022 NFL regular season was technically ($233,000 – $375,000) =
So in other words, he had to pay $142,000 out of pocket to play in the NFL last year. Odell played in 14 NFL games last season. So he essentially paid $10,142 per game.
Now, I’ll admit that Bitcoin could come roaring back and make his choice seem brilliant again in the future. But as of this writing, it would be hard to argue against the current fact that Odell’s decision to “take” his full salary in Bitcoin has been a huge bust.
And let me also admit that Odell has some money to blow. We currently estimate that Odell Beckham Jr.’s net worth is $40 million. The majority of that net worth was earned thanks to a blockbuster $95 million contract extension with the Giants signed in August 2018 that came with $65 million guaranteed and made Odell the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history.
Lastly, we no longer have comments on our articles here on CelebrityNetWorth, so if you’re a Bitcoin zealot wishing to call me an idiot, feel free shoot me an email. Or just be happy knowing that I realize you think I’m an idiot and that I’ve been totally wrong about Bitcoin over and over and over since it first topped $1,000 🙂