The NFL playoffs will begin this weekend in the wild card round as we start to eliminate teams from contention until only two remain to play in next month's Super Bowl in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. During this postseason period, players are paid differently, and three players could be about to benefit greatly from that.
Unlike the regular season, in the playoffs, every player on the roster is paid the same amount, with the money coming from a league pool instead of individual teams. According to CBS Sports, in the wild-card round, division-winning teams are paid $28,000, while wild card teams are paid $26,000.
Players that are on a team with a first-round bye this week are essentially working for free while they practice and hold meetings as they wait to see who they’ll face in the divisional round.
In the divisional playoffs, players are paid $28,000, while in the conference championship game, this jumps up to $51,000. Players on the eventual Super Bowl winning team are paid $112,000, while the losing team players get $56,000.
The reason why this is interesting is because six players in the NFL are about to be paid by playoff teams they no longer play for, and depending on how far those teams go in the postseason will decide how much they are paid.
According to the NFL rules, players who aren't on the 53-man roster at game time that spent at least eight games on the roster (regular season or playoffs) provided they're not under contract to another team in the same conference are eligible to receive the full amount which players on their former team receives for playing in the playoffs.
The six players that fall into this category are 49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (Patriots), 49ers' defensive lineman Cassius Marsh (Patriots) and Sheldon Day (Jaguars), free agent defensive lineman Roy Miller (Chiefs) and Jerel Worthy (Bills), and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who could receive payments from two teams due to his current team, the Bills, being in the playoffs, as well as his former team, the Panthers.
CBSSports.com writer Joel Corry explains that Garoppolo will get a $163,000 bonus if the Patriots repeat as Super Bowl champions, but he won't get the full $191,000 because players no longer on the roster can only qualify for the conference championship and Super Bowl bonuses, not the wild card or the divisional round games.
Still, these six players are going to be watching their former teams very closely if they play this weekend as a little bit of extra money could be coming their way if they progress far enough into the playoffs.
On Saturday, the Chiefs will host the Titans, while in the evening the Rams will host the Falcons. The next day on Sunday, the Jaguars will host the Bills, and then later the Saints will host the Panthers.
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