What Could Have Been: Travis Kelce Wanted To Play For Browns

Had Chiefs megastar Travis Kelce had his way back in the day, he’d be running routes for his fifth NFL head coach and the only Lombardi Trophy he’d own would’ve come from a Madden franchise.

That's because back in the 2013 NFL Draft, Kelce -- apparently a glutton for punishment -- had hoped the Cleveland Browns would take him.

"He always wanted to play there. But it just didn't happen,” Kelce’s mom Donna, told Jay Crawford of WKYC. “It is what it is."

Did I mention, he’d have had the opportunity to catch passes from Johnny Manziel?

Rather than select Kelce, who grew up cheering for the Browns in Cleveland Heights, OH, Cleveland opted to select Barkevious Mingo sixth overall in the 2013 Draft. Fifty-seven picks later, Kansas City selected Kelce in the third round.

Cleveland’s decision to pass over Kelce, who also played college ball for Cincinnati, left the future Hall of Famer disappointed.

"The Browns have to want them first," added Donna Kelce. “Travis was out there, and they didn't pick him and he was crushed.”

Chances are Kelce quickly got over his dismay, while the Browns were the ones who were ultimately crushed. Every year but one since that fateful draft, Cleveland’s won nine games or fewer, and they were winless in 2017. They have one measly playoff appearance since Kelce was drafted.

In that same timeframe, Kansas City’s appeared in the playoffs in all but one season. They’ve also represented the AFC in the Super Bowl twice and actually won it all over the 49ers in 2019. Safe to say, they got a catch with the Pro Bowl tight end, who’s been named to the league’s All-Pro team six times and holds a number of NFL records, including most receiving yards in a single season by a tight end (1,416 in 2020).

If the Browns had any thoughts of righting the wrong with Kelce, they can keep dreaming.

"Right now, he is very, very fortunate with the quarterback he has and the head coach that he has, and I don't think you could pry him away at this moment," said Donna Kelce via WKYC.

Kelce and the Chiefs are headed to the AFC Championship next weekend for a shot at a second Lombardi Trophy in three seasons. As for Cleveland…well, there’s always Madden.


Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF