Christian Kirksey is an American football player who plays the linebacker position for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League (NFL).
The University of Iowa graduate is unofficially known as the first “Foottall” player in NFL Madden history. This was due to a glitch on the 2015 version of the game where he appears at 1 foot 2 inches tall and as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
Early Life and Education
Christian Kirksey was born to Patrice and Elmer Kirksey on the 31st of August, 1992, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Hazelwood East High School where he featured for their football team under the stewardship of former NFL player Mike Jones who was the team’s coach. His abilities also meant that he was a part of the track and field team, competing in the relay and jumping events.
In his junior high school year, Kirksey helped his team win the state championship and earned an honorable mention for the first team all-conference. The following year, he got named to the all-conference first team although his team only managed to make it to the playoffs this time around. For that year, Kirksey recorded 163 tackles with nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and two interceptions.
For his college career, Christian Kirksey enrolled at the University of Iowa. His freshman year proved to be a learning curve for the athlete as he only played in 10 games, most of which were on special teams. His sophomore year was much better as he started all 13 games for his team, recording 62 tackles with five tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles. The following year, Kirksey was named team captain as he recorded 95 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, two QB sacks, two interceptions, four recovered fumbles, two pass break-ups and one forced fumble. As a senior, he recorded 104 tackles with 5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, two recovered fumbles and two forced fumbles, one interception, and one pass break-up.
At the end of the season, he earned an honorable All-Big Ten mention before accepting an invitation to appear in the 2014 Senior Bowl. Kirksey impressed scouts and team representatives during practice and at the game itself and further attended the NFL combine where he only performed in the vertical jump, broad jump, and bench press drills. When it was all said and done, Christian Kirksey was selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 71st overall pick by the Cleveland Browns and the rest became history.
What is Christian Kirksey’s Net Worth and Salary
It is not clear what the exact net worth of Christian Kirksey is as the four-year NFL veteran is still building his empire. His first ever contract with the Cleveland Browns in June 2014 was worth $3.04 million over four years. It also came with a signing bonus of $662,500.
Those figures will today look like peanuts to Kirksey who is now amongst the highest-paid linebackers in the NFL as he put pen to paper on a new four-year contract extension worth $38 million with $20 million guaranteed on the 30th of May, 2017. It further came with a signing bonus of $6 million and now puts his annual salary at $9,500,000, a significant increase from the previous $765,000 salary.
Christian Kirksey is the last but tallest of his seven siblings. He is the only one in his family who plays professional sports although his other siblings are enjoying a lot of success in their respective professions. His eldest brother is a mechanical engineer, the second is a gospel singer and instrument player, while the third brother works as a web designer.
Before making a name for himself in football, Kirksey wanted to become a boxer. He was inspired to take up the sport after having learned his father and uncle were amateur boxers in their youth. His father, however, discouraged him from the sport and rather set him in the direction of becoming a footballer. Kirksey still has a soft spot for boxing and has revealed he boxes and does some MMA fighting to keep fit in the football offseason.
Another career in which the linebacker has revealed he would have pursued or will be looking to have in the future after he hangs up his cleats is in music. Kirksey has said that ever since the time he sang and played the drums in his father’s church, he has always wanted to get into it.
He further revealed that he intends to work with his gospel singing brother as well as with fellow Cleveland Browns player Chad Thomas who entered the league in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Thomas is also a music producer and rapper and goes by the moniker Major Nine when performing. He has notably worked with artists like Rick Ross and Raphael Saadiq.