Matt Barkley wanted to be paid in Bitcoin, but two NFL teams refused.
Once upon a time, Matt Barkley was considered a potential No. 1 pick in the NFL draft during his college career at USC. But he wound up being drafted in the fourth round in 2013 by the Philadelphia Eagles, and he’s had a journeyman career in the NFL.
Barkley has spent time with the Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills during his career. In 2016 with Chicago, he played in seven games and made six starts in by far his most significant NFL action. He made one start for the Bills last year, throwing multiple touchdown passes in a win over the New York Jets, and signed a two-year contract extension with them before last season ended.
As technology has advanced, so have the ways people can be paid for their work. Simple direct deposit and PayPal are common ones, but other systems have come to remove traditional paper from the equation and thus streamline payment processes for companies.
But this, from cryptocurrency analyst Anthony Pompliano, is a new frontier that Barkley appears to be pioneering. Barkley wanted the 49ers (2017) and Bengals (2018) to pay his contracts in Bitcoin when he signed with them.
Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung also seems open to the idea of being paid in Bitcoin.
There are people on both sides of the debate of Bitcoin as an investment. But there’s no doubt it has been pretty volatile, including being down over 300 points as trading winds down on Thursday. The 52-week range in price spans nearly 5,000.
We’re probably a long way from professional sports teams having to consider Bitcoin, or cryptocurrency on the whole, as a possible payment method for players. But Barkley will get credit for asking teams to pay him that way, if it winds up being the start of a movement.