Buccaneers’ Tom Brady stays in late vs. Panthers to help Rob Gronkowski earn $500,000 incentive

Tom Brady wanted to make sure a former teammate got his money.

In the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers’ showdown Sunday against the Panthers, Brady was seen on the bench in Tampa Bay telling the coaching staff that he would not leave the game. Instead, he went back inside and immediately found Rob Gronkowski for a 7-yard complete pass. The pass helped Gronkowski reach his second $ 500,000 contract incentive of the game, meaning the veteran tight end would raise a total of $ 1 million for his season stats.

With his teammate’s milestones reached and Tampa Bay leading by 14 points with less than seven minutes to go, Brady left the game to begin resting for the Buccaneers’ playoff run. Tampa Bay eventually won 41-17 to secure the NFC’s No. 2 seed.

According to Spotrac, Gronkowski needed to finish the season with 55 receptions and 750 receiving yards to earn $ 500,000 for each milestone. The site also said he needed nine touchdowns to win another $ 500,000, but he finished the regular season with just six.

Gronkowski entered Sunday’s game with 48 receptions and 665 receiving yards, which means he needed 85 yards and seven receptions against Carolina. At the time of the fourth-quarter pass, he had 130 receiving yards but only six receptions.

This isn’t the first time Brady has helped a teammate win incentives. Last season, he threw three shovel passes to Antonio Brown to give the wide receiver 45 catches on the season, putting together an incentive that paid him $ 250,000, according to NBC Sports.

Brown missed several incentives this season when he was released by the team after leaving Tampa Bay’s Week 17 game early. It took eight receptions, 55 receiving yards and a touchdown to reach 50 receptions, 600 yards and five touchdowns, with each incentive valued at $ 333,333.

Brady himself could be in line for a good incentive payday. According to Spotrac, could have earned $ 562,500 each for finishing in the top five for passer rating, touchdown passes (or more than 25), yards per pass, completion percentage and yards per attempt, all provided the team occupies at least 25th place in races per race. attempt (ranked 16th).

Brady missed on passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt, but he led the league in passing yards and touchdown passes.

He will also earn $ 500,000 for leading his team to the playoffs. If the Buccaneers beat the Eagles in the wild card round, they will receive $ 750,000 for the win. He can earn $ 1.25 million for a victory in the divisional round, $ 1.75 million for winning the NFC and $ 2.25 million for winning the 2022 Super Bowl.