Christian Kirksey is an American football player who plays in the National Football League (NFL) as a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns.
The University of Iowa graduate is unofficially known as the first “Foottall” player in NFL Madden history. This was due to a glitch in the 2015 version of the game, in which he is 1 foot 2 inches tall and a member of the Tennessee Titans.
Early Life and Education
Christian Kirksey was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 31, 1992, the son of Patrice and Elmer Kirksey. He attended Hazelwood East High School, where he played for their football team under the tutelage of former NFL player Mike Jones, who was the team’s coach. Because of his skills, he was also part of the athletics team and participated in the relay and vault competitions.
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 was named to the First Team All-Conference team, although this time his team only made it to the playoffs. This year Kirksey recorded 163 tackles, with nine defeat tackles, 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 10 games, most of which were played in special teams. His second year was much better as he started all 13 games for his team and recorded 62 tackles with five tackles to defeat, one sack, one interception, three pass breaks, and two forced fumbles. The following year, Kirksey was named team captain, recording 95 tackles with 3.5 tackles to defeat, two QB sacks, two interceptions, four regained fumbles, two misses, 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 forced fumble.
At the end of the season, he earned an honorable All-Big-Ten Mention before accepting an invitation to participate in the 2014 Senior Bowl. Kirksey impressed scouts and team representatives during training and at the game itself, and also visited the NFL Combine where he only performed in the vertical jump, long jump, and bench press. When all was said and done, Christian Kirksey was selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 71st overall selection by the Cleveland Browns, and the rest became history.
What is Christian Kirksey’s Net Worth and Salary
It’s not clear what Christian Kirksey’s exact net worth is, as the four-year NFL veteran is still building his empire. His very first contract with the Cleveland Browns in June 2014 was worth $3.04 million over four years. It also included a signing bonus of $662,500.
For Kirksey, who is now one of the highest-paid linebackers in the NFL, these numbers will look like peanuts today when he signs a new four-year contract extension worth $38 million with a $20 million guarantee on May 30, 2017. In addition, he came with a signing bonus of $6 million and now estimates his annual salary at $9,500,000, a significant increase from his previous salary of $765,000.
Christian Kirksey is the last, but largest of his seven siblings. He is the only one in his family to practice professional sports, although his other siblings are very successful in their respective professions. His oldest brother is a mechanical engineer, the second is a gospel singer and instrument player, while the third brother works as a web designer.
Before he made a name for himself in soccer, Kirksey wanted to become a boxer. He was inspired to become a boxer after his father and uncle learned to be amateur boxers in their youth. However, his father advised him against this sport and rather gave him the direction to become a footballer. Kirksey still has a soft spot for boxing and has revealed that he boxed and did some MMA fights to keep fit in the off-season.
Another career in which the linebacker has revealed that he would have pursued or will pursue it in the future after he hung up his cleats is music. Kirksey has said he has always wanted to get into music since the time he sang and played drums in his father’s church.
He also revealed that he intends to work with his brother who sings gospel and his Cleveland Browns colleague Chad Thomas, who made the league in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Thomas is also a music producer and rapper and is known as Major Nine when he performs. He has worked primarily with artists such as Rick Ross and Raphael Saadiq.