NFL Playoffs Don’t Make the Players Go Hungry, But They’re A Far Cry From Their Contract Salaries
Here’s a fun fact: whether you’re four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady or rookie quarterback Dak Prescott making your NFL postseason debut, every player in the playoffs makes the same amount of money.
NFL contracts, no matter how big, cover only the regular season. So, While Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers earned $676,000 a week for the team’s 16 regular season games, he will only bring home $27,000 for playing under center this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a 96 percent decrease. While $27,000 is still a lot for one week, imagine your boss telling you that you’re only earning four percent of your usual salary this week and if you don’t work extra hard you’re fired until August.
On the other hand, Dak Prescott, who will be starting his first NFL playoff game Sunday, will be making $27,000—a slight raise from the $26,470 a game he earned on his rookie contract. Raises during the playoffs are rare, of course, but that extra $530 this week is the least Prescott deserves after leading the Cowboys to No. 1 slot in the NFC after Tony Romo went down before the season with a back injury.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the NFL’s 2016 postseason pay schedule:
Wild Card Weekend: $24,000 ($27,000 for division champions)
Divisional Round Weekend: $27,000
Conference Championships: $49,000
Super Bowl LI: $53,000 ($107,000 for winning)
The league also tries to incentivize the Pro Bowl by offering $30,000 to the losers and $61,000 to the winners. $31,000 may not be much to most of the guys there, but to some of the rookies and younger players who earned selections to the NFL All-Star Game it’s a nice bonus.
So, let’s say the Houston Texans go on to win the Super Bowl (remember, this is a hypothetical, so miracles are possible). The players would make a whopping $210,000 for winning four extra games—the four biggest games of their lives at that. That’s chump change to someone like quarterback Brock Osweiler who brought in $18,000,000 this season.
Of course, he won’t have to worry about that. I’m still amazed they made it this far with him.