BOSTON (CBS) — Contract incentives are a popular topic of conversation down in Tampa.
Last week, after shooting his way off the team, Antonio Brown complained about the Bucs giving him a “prove-it” deal that required him to produce on the field in order to earn the contract’s full value. In doing so, he pointed at Rob Gronkowski as an example of a Bucs teammate getting paid more guaranteed money as a result of his friendship with Brady. Brown also reportedly asked the Bucs to guarantee his incentive bonuses prior to the Week 17 game at the Jets.
Brown could have easily earned some extra money had he not walked off the field in the middle of a game and/or played in Week 18, as he needed 11 catches and 281 receiving yards over the final two weeks to earn an extra $666,666. That dough could have made up for the wages that Brown lost as a result of his use of a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. But instead of earning the added money, Brown left the field and the team after catching three passes for 26 yards against the Jets.
If Brown really wanted to earn the extra cash … it turns out he could have just politely asked Tom Brady.
That’s what Gronkowski did, which we can now see and hear thanks to a mic’d up clip that will air on “Inside The NFL.” The clip shows Gronkowski on the Bucs’ sideline during their game against the Panthers. Having already hit his receiving yardage incentive for an extra $500,000 in salary earlier in the game, Gronk needed one more catch to secure another $500,000 — and he was acutely aware of his situation.
“Let’s go, I need one more,” Gronk said to Brady.
“One more catch?” Brady confirmed.
“Yeah,” Gronk said.
The two bumped fists, and that was that.
“If I don’t get the seventh catch, I have to go get a real job,” Gronk said on the sideline, while head coach Bruce Arians was talking to Brady in the background. That may have been the conversation where the world assumed that Brady decided he was staying in the game to get Gronkowski his money, though it’s hard to tell.
Regardless, Brady got the job done, getting Gronkowski his 55th catch of the season and the $500k that came with it.
"If I don’t get the seventh catch, I have to go get a real job." 😂
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2022
“Tom — Good pass, dog! Thank you, dog!” Gronkowski said, before celebrating his extra million dollars with teammate Donovan Smith.