Week 18 was for more than just playoff seeding. Boardroom breaks down the NFL player incentives that hit as the regular season comes to a close.
A wild Week 18 in the NFL saw the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins clinch the final playoff spots, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs secure the top seeds in each conference, and Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers fail to qualify for the postseason.
But there were also contract incentives hit and records broken by players across the league, with millions in bonuses secured. Let’s see who cashed out.
Be sure to check out Boardroom’s breakdown of all the possible NFL player incentives heading into Week 18 here.
Week 18 NFL Player Incentives: Hit
By reaching the playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks QB earned an extra $1 million in incentives combined with taking 80% of the team’s snaps. Geno should send the Detroit Lions a really nice fruit basket.
It surprisingly took until the second quarter of the Lions’ 20-16 win over Green Bay, but the running back with the viral postgame interview got the six yards he needed to reach 1,000 on the season, earning himself a cool $250,000 bonus.
It was not only a big night on Saturday for Jacksonville in defeating Tennessee for the AFC South title, but also for Kirk individually. His six catches for 99 yards put him at 83 receptions and 1,108 yards for the regular season, bringing in an extra $500,000 bonus each for surpassing 80 catches and 1,100 yards. That’s an additional $1 million for Trevor Lawrence‘s top target.
Smith-Schuster’s two catches for 35 yards on Sunday earned the Chiefs receiver an additional $500,000. If he plays in at least 50% of the team’s snaps and Kansas City wins the AFC championship game, Smith-Schuster gets an additional $1 million. If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl and he plays in at least 50% of their snaps, he gets another $1 million on top of that.
Smith-Schuster has already earned $1 million by reaching 500 receiving yards and another million by reaching 650 receiving yards. In addition, he made $1.5 million for playing in 65% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps.
Other Notable NFL Player Incentives: Week 18
- Zay Jones, Kirk’s Jaguars teammate, needed two catches to get to 80 on the season and earn an extra $250,000. He had four grabs against Tennessee, earning an extra quarter million to go with a playoff berth.
- With four catches and 33 yards in an overtime loss to Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee finished the season off right with an additional $500,000 by reaching 600 yards on the season.
- Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter needed two catches to get to 45 and a $250,000 bonus. He had three receptions in Sunday’s loss to Denver to earn the cash.
- Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Justin Houston needed one sack to reach 10 and earn a $500,000 bonus, which everyone thought he got with a hit on Joe Burrow early in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati. But later, it was ruled that teammate Odafe Oweh got a half sack on the play, costing the veteran pass rusher Houston a half mil. However, Cincy’s Hayden Hurst caught four balls to surpass 50 receptions on the season, earning him a $125,000 bonus.
- Tom Brady completed 13 of his 17 passes before being taken out midway through a meaningless loss to Atlanta. It gave the ageless one 490 completions on the season, breaking his own single-season record of 485 he set last year.
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