Show me the money: Who earned NFL performance bonuses and who missed out

It’s the end of the 2020 NFL season, and whether or not a player’s team is headed for the playoffs can have some financial impact. Several contract incentives were cashed in as the regular season came to an end — and the money earned is significant.

Here are some performances achieved by players on Sunday — and some that were just missed.

Leonard Floyd, Los Angeles Rams, $1.25 million bonus

Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd entered Sunday’s game needing a half-sack to earn a $1.25 million incentive, which perhaps explains his jubilant celebration when he took down Cardinals backup quarterback Chris Streveler to surpass the 10-sack mark. “I’ve been taking my incentives one incentive at a time,” said Floyd, who finishes with 10.5 sacks this season. “Today I finished my last one.” Floyd is playing on a one-year, $10 million contract, and Rams coach Sean McVay said last week he would like to find a way to retain the lanky pass-rusher.

Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay Packers, $1 million bonus

By finishing with 12.5 sacks, Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith earned a $1 million bonus. He had bonuses of $500,000 for reaching double-digit sacks in a season and another $500,000 if he reached 12.

Riley Reiff, Minnesota Vikings, $1 million bonus

Vikings left tackle Riley Reiff was in line for a possible $1 million if he played 93.75% of snaps; he finished the season having been in for 92.6%.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins, $750,000 bonus

Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker earned a $750,000 incentive Sunday after eclipsing 60 catches for 750 yards this season. He came in needing four catches for 73 yards and finished with seven catches for 116 yards.

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks, $600,000 bonus

Tyler Lockett’s big day against the 49ers was worth $600,000. With 12 catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, the wide receiver maxed out his $1.2 million worth of 2020 incentives, according to a source. That also triggers a $1.2 million escalator that will raise his 2021 base salary from $9.8 million to $11 million. Entering Sunday, Lockett had already earned $1.8 million of that $2.4 million in potential added money. He then earned $400,000 by topping 1,000 yards on the season and another $200,000 by scoring his 10th touchdown.

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $562,500 bonus

Tom Brady earned $562,500 for finishing in the top five in passing. He threw for 399 yards Sunday, finishing with 4,633 — third in the NFL behind Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, and fifth most in his career. Brady’s 40 touchdown passes was also second most in his career in a regular season, behind only his 50 thrown in 2007.

Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints, $500,000 bonus

Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders needed eight catches Sunday to reach a $500,000 bonus for 60 catches on the season. He wound up with nine catches for 63 yards and a touchdown while the Saints’ offense was missing Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Tre’Quan Smith, among others. Quarterback Drew Brees acknowledged after the game that the Saints were making a concerted effort to help Sanders reach his goal — and teammates made a celebratory gesture with him on the field when he did it. “It felt great,” Sanders said with a laugh after the game. “But I think the best part is just winning as a team.”

Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $250,000 bonus

Antonio Brown earned $250,000 bonus by reaching 45 catches on the season. In order to receive this 45-catch bonus, the wide receiver also needed to reach the playoffs, which the Bucs did. He came up short on six touchdowns with playoffs incentive (he had four) and 650 receiving yards (483). Those were also worth $250,000 each. He can still earn $750,000 if the Bucs win the Super Bowl.

Jeremiah Attaochu, Denver Broncos, $250,000 bonus

Broncos linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu triggered a $250,000 bonus Sunday when he sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr with 4 minutes, 42 seconds left in the Broncos’ 32-31 loss to Las Vegas. It gave Attaochu, who started in place of the injured Bradley Chubb, five sacks for the season — good for fourth on the team. Chubb suffered an ankle injury in the Broncos’ Dec. 19 loss to the Buffalo Bills and did not play in the team’s final two games. Attaochu had signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal last March to return to the Broncos.

David Moore, Seattle Seahawks, $100,000 bonus

David Moore hit a $100,000 incentive with his lone catch Sunday, his 35th of the season. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was aware of what was at stake for Moore in the week leading up to the regular-season finale. So when Moore still didn’t have a catch late in the Seahawks’ 26-23 victory, Wilson and QBs coach Austin Davis talked on the sideline about getting him one. The Seahawks were going to take a knee with 22 seconds left but changed the play in the huddle to an end-around pop pass for Moore. “It’s pretty cool,” Wilson said. “It’s a blessing. He’s worked so hard this year, so he definitely earned it.”

Players who just missed their bonuses

  • Giants cornerback James Bradberry needed two interceptions Sunday against the Cowboys to collect a $250,000 incentive.

  • Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland needed one interception Sunday for $100,000.

  • Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones needed 2.5 sacks Sunday to collect a $1.25 million incentive.

  • Bills safety Jordan Poyer needed one interception Sunday to collect on a $250,000 incentive.

  • Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton would have earned $1 million if the Cowboys made the playoffs.

  • Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers needed to hit 65% playing time in 2020 and was at 64.3%, but was inactive on Sunday.

  • Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul needed 2.5 sacks for an additional $350,000.

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