Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were aware of TE's $1M catch incentives on Sunday

·2 min read

With their playoff bid secure, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't have much at stake during Sunday's season finale against the Carolina Panthers.

But Rob Gronkowski did. The Bucs tight end entered Sunday's game with a shot at reaching three separate contract incentives valued at $500,000 each. He secured two of them, for a cool $1 million tacked on to his $8 million in salary and signing bonuses this season.

And in case you thought multimillionaire athletes don't care about $1 million here and there, you thought wrong. Gronkowksi and his old pal Tom Brady made sure the tight end got his bonuses before Brady took his seat on the bench during Sunday's 41-17 blowout win.

Video released by the NFL on Tuesday shows just how aware of the incentives they both were as they planned out Gronkowski's payday.

"Let's go, I need one more," Gronkowski told Brady on the sideline.

"One more catch?" Brady confirmed before giving Gronkowski an affirming fist bump.

"If I don't get the seventh catch, I have to go get a real job," Gronkowski later joked with a Bucs staffer on the sideline.

Brady secures Gronk's payday before taking seat on bench

With 6:29 remaining in the game that the Bucs led 31-17, Brady found Gronkowski for his seventh catch of the day and 55th of the season. That catch was worth $500,000 for Gronkowski. Brady promptly found his seat on the bench, where he would ensure his health for Tampa Bay's upcoming wild-card game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Gronkowski, meanwhile, celebrated with a $1 million song and dance. Because Gronk.

He'd reached his yardage incentive earlier in the day. Gronkowski entered the game 65 yards short of a $500,000 bonus triggered at 750 receiving yards. He finished the day with seven catches for 137 yards, bringing his season total to 55 catches for 802 yards with six touchdowns.

He also finished the season three touchdowns short of another $500,000 bonus. But two out of three's not bad. Especially when it lands $1 million in your bank account.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 05: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Alternate crop) Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons with teammate Tom Brady #12 during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, as usual, has Rob Gronkowski's back. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)