Netflix wanted Travis Kelce to star in Receiver (but here's why he said no)

"I'd rather just focus on ball, baby."
2024 Big Slick Celebrity Weekend
2024 Big Slick Celebrity Weekend / Kyle Rivas/GettyImages

Hot on the success of the NFL documentary series Quarterback, Netflix continues its focus on the behind-the-scenes aspects of the league's top football players. Receiver shines a light on a new batch of NFL stars in the 2023 season and releases on Wednesday, July 10. However, one of the stars you won't be seeing in the new docuseries is three-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce.

While guesting on the June 24 episode of the Bussin' with the Boys podcast, Kelce spoke with hosts Will Compton and Taylor Lewan about a range of topics, including his career with the Kansas City Chiefs and his relationship with Taylor Swift. Before the episode came to an end, Compton asked if Netflix had reached out with an offer to appear in Receiver, which stars Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

The tight end revealed that the streamer had in fact inquired about the record-setting Chiefs star potentially appearing in the series after his quarterback Patrick Mahomes starred in Quarterback. Ultimately, Kelce opted out of Receiver, saying that he preferred to focus on playing football rather than juggling a docuseries with his podcast, New Heights, and already busy schedule.

"After Pat [Mahomes] did it, I did get asked about [Receiver]. I'm just... I don't know, I'd rather just play ball, man. I'm already doing enough with the podcast and everything."

Travis Kelce

Kelce also joked that he's "way over the reality sh-t" after headlining the one-and-done E! Network reality dating series Catching Kelce back in 2016. Sure, the dating series and Receiver are nothing alike from a production standpoint, but adding being the subject of a docuseries on top of the pressures of a football season, especially one coming off of a Super Bowl win, is a lot.

Always one to share the spotlight with others, Kelce praised his brother, retired Philadelphia Eagles center and New Heights podcast co-host Jason, and his 2023 documentary Kelce on Prime Video. The doc followed Jason as he mulled over retirement in the lead up to the "Kelce Bowl," in which the Eagles and Chiefs faced off in the Super Bowl in 2023. But Kelce's in no rush to make his own doc.

"I thought it was cool the way my brother did his doc, though. Kind of, like, a follow towards the end of somebody's career, or kind of the ups and downs of the battles he had. I think he did it the right way. That was so him, and I just don't know if I have the desire to do anything like that. I'd rather just focus on ball, baby."

Travis Kelce

There's no doubt that Kelce has been fielding plenty more offers than just from Netflix as the interest in his personal life has soared since going public with Swift in September 2023. Turning down Receiver likely helped avoid further exploitation of their relationship for ratings, as Swift attended 13 of Kelce's games during the 2023-2024 season, including the Super Bowl. Their relationship receives enough attention that invades their privacy without needlessly popping a documentary camera in there, too.

Although Kelce won't be one of the subjects of Receiver, we'll be seeing him on Netflix later this year when he plays in the Christmas Day game airing on Netflix. The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the two NFL games streaming on Netflix this Christmas. Kelce will also be seen as the host of Are You Smarter Than a Celebrity? on Prime Video and as an actor in Ryan Murphy's upcoming FX horror series Grotesquerie.

Watch Receiver only on Netflix beginning Wednesday, July 10.