No, Trevor Lawrence didn't lose $15M by gambling his rookie bonus on crypto

No, Trevor Lawrence didn’t lose $15M by gambling his rookie bonus on crypto

There’s been a lot of confusion about Trevor Lawrence’s rookie signing bonus, and whether the No. 1 overall pick in 2021 might have lost a spectacular amount of money by risking it on cryptocurrency, which as we know, has crashed in recent months.

This week there have been wide reports that Lawrence lost almost $15M as a result of his deal. Full disclosure, here at SB Nation we did as well — but the truth is that Lawrence likely didn’t lose his NFL money. The confusion arises from a pre-draft endorsement deal Lawrence signed with “Blockfolio,” and the wording the company used when they inked Lawrence in April of 2021.

When Lawrence joined Blockfolio they announced the endorsement deal in a press release. In it they referred to the money they were paying Lawrence as a “signing bonus,” likely as a shorthand way of trying to sound sporty, saying they were depositing the bonus into a crypto wallet for the QB.

“This partnership marks the first endorsement deal ever in which a significant signing bonus has been paid entirely in cryptocurrency. The bonus was deposited directly into Lawrence’s Blockfolio account and included Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana.”

There’s no such thing as a “signing bonus” when it comes to an endorsement deal. It’s simply the endorsement contract. You sign the deal, you get paid money — or in Lawrence’s case, you get crypto. While using this sports term is fairly innocuous, it’s here where things took a jump. Following the Blockfolio press release, USA Today aggregated the news and it’s here the confusion began.

The story conflated the phrase “signing bonus” which was given in the Blockfolio press release, and blended it with Lawrence’s actual NFL signing bonus from the Jaguars — reporting it being $24.1M, and using Spotrac as a source.

“The presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, almost surely headed to the Jacksonville Jaguars, has partnered with a global cryptocurrency investment app called Blockfolio and will place his signing bonus into an account with the company.”

“According to Spotrac, the signing bonus for this year’s No. 1 pick is an estimated $22,630,055.”

So now we have an endorsement deal from Blockfolio, presumably fairly small in the scheme of things, which was paid directly in crypto — and now it has been linked to Lawrence’s huge NFL signing bonus from the league, and misreported that money was placed into crypto. Whether an honest mistake, or an attempt to make a story a little sexier, we’re left at the same place: An endorsement deal with a crypto company was paid in crypto, and nothing more.

Then, on Tuesday, a writer for the Sun Sentinel took information published by Coinjournal, and made a tweet poking fun at the Jaguars QB.

Of course, we know this is entirely inaccurate — because there’s no evidence that Lawrence put his $24M into crypto. However this was cited in numerous stories writing up that Lawrence had fumbled the bag, despite it not being the case.

This is all good news. No one should root for anyone losing their money, even as schadenfreude. Trevor Lawrence is a really nice dude, and he sucks to think he botched the biggest payday of his football career — but instead he probably only lost a chunk out of that original endorsement deal. It sucks, but it’s far from devastating.

SB has reached out to Trevor Lawrence’s sports agency for comment, but has not received a response at this time.

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