NFL players get extra cash for playoff wins

With NFL players’ contracts swelling to levels that guarantee tens of millions of dollars fans often wonder how much these guys pocket during the playoffs. The pay scale is based on number of wins and unless you have playoff bonuses inked in your contract, it doesn’t amount to much compared to the salaries.

Currently, the scale pays out $19,000 per player for a Wildcard game win, $21,000 per player for the Divisional Playoff Game win and an additional $38,000 for winning the Conference Title Game.

Added up, players making it to the Super Bowl game on Feb. 6 in Dallas will pocket $78,000. The winners of the Super Bowl will get an additional $83,000 while the losers take home $42,000.

With two Wild Card teams, the Packers and Jets, still in the running, these players would take home $161,000 each since their playoff run included that Wild Card game. Teams who had a bye week like Chicago and Pittsburgh will make $19,000 less since they played one less game.

Due to the bonuses written in their contracts, this is pocket change for players like Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco and New York Jets slinger Mark Sanchez. “The Sanchize” gets paid $250,000 for each playoff win and is expected to take home a maximum of $1.875 million if he wins that Super Bowl game on Feb. 6. Flacco, who threw away a 21-7 lead and perfect opportunity to upset the Steelers in Pittsburg in the team’s first playoff game this year, would have gotten a $200,000 bonus with a win that afternoon and that same amount for every additional playoff win along the way.

BTW, the Pro Bowl scale is $45,000 for each winning player and half that, $22,500, for the losers.

Regardless of these incentives, some players sign deals so ridiculous these playoff dollars wouldn’t even be noticed going into their bank accounts. Take Albert Haynesworth for example. Fat Albert, the owner of the longest suspension for an on-field incident, signed a record deal with $41 million in guarantees with Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins that paid the player about $32 million over the first 13 months. Haynesworth pretty much took the money then spent his time sitting on the bench or standing around in street clothes while his name splattered negative headlines around the country.

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

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