Russell Okung is in his first season with the Carolina Panthers and he’s creating history in the first—and possibly only year— with the team. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Okung is achieving his dream to receive a portion of his salary in Bitcoin.
An NFL first: #Panthers OT Russell Okung will receive half of his $13M in salary in Bitcoin. As part of a partnership with @in_strike and thanks to creative payroll solutions from the #Panthers, @russellokung will fulfill the goal he set when he tweeted “Pay me in Bitcoin!”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2020
Okung becomes the first player in NFL history to receive a part of his salary in Bitcoin. Instead of receiving all $13 million that he is owed for the 2020 season in dollars, he will receive half of it in Bitcoin as part of a partnership with a Bitcoin company.
The veteran offensive tackle is known to be interested in investing in Bitcoin due to some believing the U.S dollar is losing value amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it’s not a surprise to see Okung interested in being given a fraction of his salary in cryptocurrency.
Back in March, Okung was traded to the Panthers from the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for Trai Turner. In his first season with Carolina, Okung has only started in seven games, playing in only 42 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
Seeing that Okung is set to become an unrestricted free agent, it’s unlikely that the Panthers bring him back in the 2021 season. With his injury issues in the past two seasons—missing 19 games in total due to injury—he may have a tough time earning another expensive contract in the NFL.
At the least, Okung seems confident in how he’s positioning himself financially for his life after football by getting half of his 2020 salary in Bitcoin.