Super Bowl 53 Prize Money: Bonus Payout Distribution for Patriots vs. Rams

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2019

The Patriots are more motivated by a sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy than the relatively small amount of prize money.
The Patriots are more motivated by a sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy than the relatively small amount of prize money.Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

When the conversation turns to playing championship football in the NFL, the glory and glamour that most players talk about is bringing home the Vince Lombardi Trophy and earning a championship ring.

The conversation is rarely about the money teams earn during their championship postseason runs.

There's good reason for that, as the cash paid out to players for winning playoff games and even the Super Bowl is rarely an impetus for those who, in many cases, are paid millions during the regular season regardless.

That is definitely the case for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, who will meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3 in Super Bowl LIII.

While the payouts for winning playoff games and the Super Bowl may look quite generous to average football fans, those payoffs represent a limited amount of money to a large percentage of players.

The winners of the Super Bowl will earn $118,000 per player, per Emily Caron of Sports Illustrated. That includes active players, inactive players and players on injured reserve. The losers will earn $59,000 per player.

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Those players will have earned quite a bit more during the postseason.

Both teams had byes during the Wild Card Round, and they did not get paid at all that week since they did not play a game. Performers in the divisional round earn $29,000, and conference championship participants earn $54,000 each.

As a result, the team that wins the Super Bowl will earn $201,000 per player for their three postseason victories. The losing team will earn $137,000 for playing in the three postseason games.

If the winning Super Bowl team had also participated in the Wild Card Round, it would mean an extra $29,000, for a total of $230,000 in bonus money.

The Patriots have 34 players on the roster with a cap hit of $1 million or more, while the Rams have 25 such players. Ndamukong Suh leads the Rams with a cap hit of $14.5 million, while Tom Brady leads the Patriots with a cap hit of $22 million.

The players will accept the prize money that comes with playing in the Super Bowl and winning it. However, the memory of the championship, the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the championship rings are the things that will matter most to the Patriots and the Rams.

When the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game, Brady talked about the next step, not the money that his team would have a chance to earn.

"It's a great feeling," Brady said, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post. "We've overcome a lot this year, down but not out. We found a way to play our best the last four games. ... We're going to need one more great game. Great way to end it. That was probably as excited as I've been in a long time."

It's the same with Los Angeles, as Rams running back Todd Gurley pointed out when he answered questions about his 10-yard performance in the NFC title game win over the New Orleans Saints. He said he only cares about one thing.

"I don't give a damn what I do," Gurley said, per Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "Honestly, I just want to win, bro. I don't really care. You always want to do good, but you just want to win."

Gurley never mentioned money as an incentive for the upcoming game.


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