Not only has Tom Brady publicly vouched for Antonio Brown, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback helped make the star receiver a little richer after the team’s Week 17 win over the Atlanta Falcons. As The Athletic’s Greg Auman reported, Brown entered the season finale needing 11 receptions to land a $250,000 bonus for reaching 45 receptions this season.
Things became even more interesting in the fourth quarter as Brown still needed seven catches to hit the incentive. With just minutes left in the game, Brady took matters into his own hands as the Bucs ran a screen and two shovel passes allowing Brown to hit the bonus.
“With an expectation of a running play, Brady instead opened with a screen pass to Brown for 3 yards,” Auman explained. “Then they called an end around, but teams often use a pop-pass, or short shovel toss, so that if the exchange isn’t clean it counts as an incompletion and not a fumble. They did this with Brown, who got a 6-yard gain and went out of bounds, stopping the clock just ahead of the two-minute warning with 2:01 left. On third-and-1, needing one catch to get the $250,000 bonus, the Bucs called the same play, and Brown got the ball for a 2-yard gain. From there, Tampa Bay could take kneeldowns … and a six-figure bonus.”
A.B.’s $1 Million Contract With the Bucs Included 3 Additional $250,000 Incentive Opportunities
Brown finished the game with 11 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, by far the most involved the receiver had been in the offense since arriving in Tampa. Depending on how Mike Evans’ injury plays out, the Buccaneers may need Brown even more in the playoffs, beyond just bonus purposes. Brown signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Buccaneers which also included three $250,000 incentives, per The Athletic. The receiver would hit a bonus by achieving any of the following stats: 45 receptions, 600 receiving yards or six touchdowns.
After Tampa’s Week 15 victory over Atlanta, Brady praised Brown’s dedication since joining the team. Brady noted that Brown has “done a lot of work to get to this point.”
“Obviously as a teammate, as someone who knows him pretty well, he’s done a lot of work to get to this point,” Brady explained, per ESPN. “[I’m] just proud of him and his focus, and how he’s prioritized different things. A lot of the guys in that receiver group have helped him. He’s making great contributions.”
Brady Earned More Than $1 Million in Bonus Money With the Bucs
Brown is not the only Bucs player that hit a major incentive as Brady also did well for himself to close out the season. According to Yahoo Sports, Brady earned $562,000 each for being in the top-five in NFL passing yards and touchdowns.
Brady’s 40 touchdown passes were good enough for him to finish second behind Aaron Rodgers, and notched 4,633 passing yards which ranked him third this season. The quarterback earned an additional $500,000 for leading the Bucs to the playoffs.
That amount increases with each playoff win as a victory over Washington in the Wild Card round would earn Brady another $250,000. If Brady can lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win, the quarterback’s incentive bumps up to $2.25 million, per CBS Sports. Heading into the postseason, Brady has earned more than $1.5 million in incentives during his first season in Tampa.