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Trevor Lawrence denies losing $15 million in crypto

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As cryptocurrency prices have plummeted in recent weeks, there has been increased scrutiny of the many professional athletes who brag about being paid in cryptocurrency and how much money those athletes have lost. In particular, one viral story has claimed that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence lost $15 million after taking his entire $24 million signing bonus last year in cryptocurrency that is now worth just $9 million.

One problem with that story: it’s not true.

Lawrence made that clear on Twitter today, explaining that when he said last year that he got a cryptocurrency signing bonus, he was referring to the signing bonus he got from an endorsement deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX. He wasn’t referring to his $24 million signing bonus as the first overall pick in last year’s NFL draft.

“Did they confuse my @FTX_Official signing bonus with my @NFL bonus?” Lawrence wrote.

It should have been obvious from the start that the story was false. For starters, NFL players cannot be paid in cryptocurrencies. They are paid in US dollars. What they choose to do with those dollars is their own business, and some players may invest heavily in cryptocurrencies, just like other players invest in stocks or real estate.

And income tax is withheld from players’ paychecks, so Lawrence never had $24 million to lose in the first place. After taxes, Lawrence’s signing bonus was about $15 million, so if he had invested all of his signing bonus in Bitcoin, he wouldn’t lose $15 million unless the price of Bitcoin hit zero. And while Bitcoin is down more than 60 percent from its all-time high in November, it’s still far from zero.

But then again, Lawrence did not put his entire signing bonus into Bitcoin. Lawrence is making money from crypto through his endorsement deal with a crypto exchange, and if he puts that money into crypto, then he has lost a lot of money since he started his endorsement deal. But he hasn’t lost $15 million.

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