After 50 years the Kansas City Chiefs have returned to NFL glory. On February 2, 2020, the Chiefs were crowned Super Bowl Champions and with that comes all the glory associated with being the best team in the nation’s most popular sport. Championships in their respective leagues are interesting for many reason, one of which is: the players of the winning team get paid bonuses when they win. For the fans, this is something that can easily be overlooked by the mere fact most of these guys are getting paid millions of dollars already. You don’t often hear a player who is about to play for a title say, “I hope we win so I can get that bonus” or “Man, if we win we’ll get more money”. It’s actually a very beautiful thing that almost every player is there for the team and to cover themselves in glory, not get a bonus check. All that being said, the winner does get a bonus check and a lot of other money is sprinkled throughout the winning franchise. For the fans, the fact this isn’t highly publicized information (until people like us write about it) makes championship games feel pure – just the way we want them to feel.
The bonuses players receive from having success in the regular season and postseason pale in comparison to the huge contracts and salaries they sign, but are still nothing to sneeze at. Let’s break down what each player received prior to playing in the big game. First, all the payouts for this year’s postseason were agreed upon in the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that was signed in 2011. That deal is set to expire this year and like everything else in the NFL should be renewed at a higher rate. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs both won their respective divisions. The Chiefs won the AFC West with ease, while the Niners battled the Seahawks to the closing weeks of the season to win the NFC West. Because both teams won the division players received $31,000 each. This gave both teams a bye in the first round of the playoffs and put them right in the Divisional Round. For participating in this playoff game each player from the Chiefs (and the Texans) and 49ers (and the Vikings) received another check for $31,000.
That puts each player who competed in the Super Bowl at $62,000 with the Conference Championship and Super Bowl still to be awarded. The Chiefs hosted the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead. The 49ers played the Green Bay Packers in San Francisco for their chance at the Super Bowl as the NFC representative. For participation in this game each player receives a bonus check of $56,000. To be clear, these postseason bonuses are egalitarian, which means that everyone gets the same amount – starter, back-up, running back, kicker – if you’re on the roster you get the bonus. As we all know, the Chiefs handled the Titans and the Niners eased past the Packers to solidify their place in the big game. The Super Bowl, unlike earlier playoff games, is the only playoff game where winning matters when it comes to getting a bonus. The 49ers players received $62,000 each for their efforts in the Super Bowl. That makes their running total for the 2019-2020 playoffs – $149,000. The players on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs each received $124,000 for winning the big game, which means for the past few years players on teams who won their division and then went on to win a Super Bowl earned a total of $211,000.
As mentioned above, for guys like Jimmy Garoppolo, who makes $27.5 million per year in annual salary that bonus is pocket change. However, for other guys who make the league minimum of $495,000 per season – that’s a 43% boost to their annual salary. What’s even better is that players are paid within 15 days of the big game!
Both Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan are well-paid head coaches. Reid is one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL making about $7.5 million per season on a $37.5 million contract. Shanahan, who happens to be 21-years younger than Big Red, makes $3.5 million per year on a 6-year, $21 million dollar deal. Both coaches have undisclosed bonuses in their contracts and projected to take home a similar amount as the players when winning the Super Bowl. Per reports, Reid has a more aggressive bonus structure and could see well over $2.5 million when it’s all said and done with Super Bowl wins etc.
Now that players and coaches have all received their Super Bowl bonuses, there’s a more pressing intriguing story about to be publishes all over sports websites. Patrick Mahomes is eligible for a contract extension (off his rookie deal) and well, he’s one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in the league…. with a Super Bowl win. The quarterback standard in 2020 is Russell Wilson at $35 million per season. Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has made it clear he is in no rush to offer Mahomes an extension, but everyone in the league knows it’s coming. This is going to be one of the most noteworthy story lines in the NFL because it’s going to raise the bar even further for NFL quarterback salaries (see Lamar Jackson drooling). It is expected that Mahomes receives a contract in the neighborhood of $200 million, which would make him the first ever player to hit that number. It’s hard to support a number that large, but it’s even harder to argue that Mahomes is the best in the league and this Super Bowl isn’t going to be the only one of his career. Wonder what he will do with all those $120k Super Bowl bonuses after becoming the NFL’s first $200 million man!