Super Bowl Prize Money: How Much Do NFL Players Make for Winning Championship?

It is hard to put a price on winning the Super Bowl, but there is a specific monetary value associated with winning a championship. Players on the winning team earn $59,000 more in money than the losing team does, per Sports Illustrated. The Super Bowl winners earn a check for $118,000, while the losing team earns $59,000.

During the playoffs, players are not paid by based on their contract, but through a designated account set up by the NFL. Players earn money for each round of the playoffs that their team plays in. Since the Rams and Patriots both had first-round byes, the most either team can make in the postseason is $201,000.

At the beginning of the playoffs, Saints head coach Sean Payton tried to use this money as motivation for his players. As you can see from the above photo, Payton wheeled in a cart with more than $200,000, a Super Bowl ring and a Lombardi trophy.

If a team had advanced to the Super Bowl from the Wild Card round, that number could have jumped up to $230,000 with a Super Bowl win. The Rams and Patriots had a bye for Wild Card weekend, so their total playoff checks are slightly less.

“That trophy, that bread, all of that’s on the line,” Saints running back Mark Ingram explained to The Advocate. “It’s just another little way to get us going.”

The Saints came up short of their goal for this season, but the same motivation applies to the Rams and Patriots who are competing for the title.

NFL Contracts End After the Regular Season & Players Earn Money Based on Each Playoff Game

The NFL playoffs level the playing field in more ways than one. The Patriots backup tight end makes as much as Tom Brady for playoff wins. Brady and others may have incentives in their contracts for certain achievements, but the base salary is the same for each player on the team during the postseason. Sports Illustrated detailed how payment works in the postseason.

NFL players are paid their yearly salaries on a weekly basis (aside from signing, roster and other bonuses) from the first game of the season through the last, including the team’s bye week. Team payments and contracts end, however, with the regular season. During the postseason, players are paid by the league through a designated postseason fund as opposed to being paid by their individual teams.

A handful of players have postseason incentives worked into their contract from their team, but most only recieve on league pay. The NFL pays every player on the 53-man active roster an identical amount per postseason appearance and/or win regardless of impact or performance.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the average NFL salary is just over $2 million, while the median salary is $860,000. For players on the bottom end of the salary scale, a $118,000 check for winning the Super Bowl is significant. This is especially true given the average NFL career length is 3.3 years, per Statista.

NFL Playoff & Super Bowl Prize Money

Wild Card: Division Winner $29,000
Wild Card $27,000
Divisional Round $29,000
Conference Championship $54,000
Super Bowl: Runner-Up $59,000
Super Bowl Winner $118,000


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