‘Chicago Fire’: Taylor Kinney’s Contract Is Reportedly Up — Will He Leave After Season 9?

Chicago Fire’s Taylor Kinney has played the role of Kelly Severide since the series premiered in 2012. But recently, rumors have once again popped up claiming the actor’s ready to leave the series. With Kinney’s contract reportedly up, will he leave after season 9?

Taylor Kinney signs a poster as he attends a press junket for NBC's 'Chicago Fire', 'Chicago P.D.' and 'Chicago Med' at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on November 9, 2015
‘Chicago Fire’ star Taylor Kinney | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

The rumor that Taylor Kinney was leaving ‘Chicago Fire’ first appeared in 2019

Kinney is a Chicago Fire OG who’s played Lieutenant Severide since the NBC drama launched nine years ago. But rumors started to swirl in 2019 that the actor could be on his way out, thanks to a tweet from Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas.

While discussing the future of two characters — Kelly and Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) — Haas tweeted, “They won’t both be at 51 before the winter break.”

Due to Haas’ phrasing, some fans were convinced that Kelly was leaving the show, but it didn’t turn out that way. Haas sparked rumors again about a possible Taylor Kinney exit in May 2021 when he told Entertainment Tonight that the season 9 finale would be an emotional one.

The rumors have gained steamed once again

Haas promised they were “going big,” and the last two episodes of season 9 are going to be “bang, bang, bang, bang.” If Kinney is leaving the show, he could be written out in these episodes.

“We’re going to have one of these gigantic last 10 minutes that drive our audience crazy,” Haas explained. “I definitely enjoy building up to what feels like a giant ending to each season that makes audiences — because you know they have nothing until October — so you’ve got to have them thinking about it all summer long and yes, I do take pleasure in that.”

He went on to say that the Chicago Fire finale will have fans feeling good about the season with about 10 minutes left to go. But for fans who watch the last 10 minutes, Haas admits they might be “cursing” his name “all summer long.”

The ‘Chicago Fire’ star renewed his contract in 2019

When the rumors first started swirling in 2019 that Kinney could be on the way out, his contract was up at the time. He reportedly signed on for two more seasons, which kept him on the NBC drama through season 9.

But now that the network has officially renewed Chicago Fire for three more seasons — which they announced in early 2021 — where does that leave Kinney? Everyone at Chicago Fire and CBS has stayed quiet about Kinney’s future on the show.

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But, worried fans should take a little comfort in the fact that Kinney doesn’t have any other projects in the works, according to his IMDB page.

There’s going to be ‘a lot going on’

Considering Haas’ promise that the final 10 minutes of the season will have fans hating him, it’s very possible that Kinney could be done with Chicago Fire after nine seasons. Will the character be written off? If so, will he walk away from Firehouse 51? Or, will he be killed?

“Some people should just be happy. Be happy that it was a good season and then what could possibly happen? And it’s only 10 minutes,” Haas quipped before asking, “What could possibly happen?”

The truth is, a lot could possibly happen. When asked if the season 9 finale would include life-or-death cliffhangers, Haas played coy. He replied, “Maybe. There’s going to be a lot going on.”

No one has suggested Taylor Kinney is leaving ‘Chicago Fire’

Despite Haas’ promises of a big season finale, that’s not a suggestion that Kinney is exiting the series. No one has hinted that the 39-year-old actor is leaving. But the fact that his contract needs to be renewed is an issue.

The Chicago franchise has always been good about keeping their character deaths and departures a secret. If Kinney was really planning on leaving, Haas would probably not even hint it was coming.

New episodes of Chicago Fire air Wednesdays on NBC.