The chance to win a title is more than enough to motivate members of the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, but offering a further financial incentive will only sweeten the pot for the winning team.
Granted, everybody will be a bit richer after the Super Bowl, according to CBSSports.com's Chris Trapasso. The losers will take home $49,000 apiece, while the winners will be entitled to an individual share of up to $97,000.
For the teams' highest annual earners, neither payout will register much excitement. For those earning at or close to the league minimum, though, the winning share would equal a significant chunk of their salary this year.
CBSSports.com's Joel Corry, a former sports agent, explained which players will be entitled to payouts at the close of the playoffs:
- Players on the 53-man roster when the game is played who have been on the roster for at least three previous games
- Players with more than one year of experience put on injured reserve during the regular season who are still under contract when the game is played
- Players with four or more years in the league put on injured reserve during the preseason who are still under contract when the game is played
- Players who aren't on the 53-man roster at game time who spent at least eight games on the roster provided they're not under contract to another team in the same conference
Of course, no player stands to gain more financially than Peyton Manning. The Broncos quarterback restructured his contract in March, giving him the chance to earn back the $4 million he saved the team. As ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold wrote, Manning received half of that $4 million after leading Denver to an AFC championship; the other half will be paid out should the Broncos win the Super Bowl.
"I've never really talked about my contract, and I'm not going to start now," said Manning.
It would be fitting for Manning's last act on an NFL field to be winning the Super Bowl, mirroring how the man who helped bring him to Denver—Broncos general manager John Elway—ended his NFL career.
Pocketing a further $2 million wouldn't be too bad for Manning, either.