Good Question: What Are The Playoffs Worth To Players?

By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4) – The Broncos may be ready– to cash checks. This Sunday’s game against the Steelers comes with an added bonus – an added bonus. In the NFL, the playoffs mean extra dough.

Players will tell you it’s not about the money, but the fact is for some, the money really helps.

“My first couple of years I was excited I was going to get some more checks thrown my way but ultimately you play to win a championship,” said Bo Scaife, a former tight end with the Titans, Bengals and Patriots.

Bo Scaife (credit: CBS)

Bo Scaife (credit: CBS)

Scaife grew up in Denver and was a standout at Mullen High School. Players like Scaife pick up money that makes a difference in their off-seasons.

He put in eight seasons in the NFL before leaving the game in 2012. Scaife would be the first to tell you the money isn’t the motivation, but it’s a plus.

“The first couple years you stay in that six figure range and you know to extend your year a couple more weeks and get a few more checks to help your vacation to help your off season, is always great.”

Players are paid from an NFL fund during the playoffs not their teams. The Broncos will get $25,000 each for playing in the divisional round this weekend. The conference championship can bring $46,000 and the Super Bowl at least $51,000. That’s for the losers. The winners get $102,000.

“Even the losing team gets paid so it’s a win-win situation whether you win it or not.”

(credit: Evan Semón/CBS)

(credit: Evan Semón/CBS)

For players with smaller paychecks during the regular season it can be quite a boost. The league minimum is now $435,000. That’s still a great payday for most of us. But the pay is doled out evenly, whether a player stands with a clipboard or is barking out “Omahas” and taking blind side hits from linebackers.

If the Broncos win the Super Bowl they can earn as much as $173,000 in post season pay. That’s a big percentage change for players at the minimum.

“You want to win the Super Bowl because this is something you get to carry with you the rest of your life,” said Scaife with a smile, “But, the check helps you to enjoy that celebration a little more.”

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning prepares to take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Nov. 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning prepares to take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Nov. 15, 2015. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning could get even more because of the way his contract is written. If the Broncos make it to the Super Bowl and he’s in on 70 percent of the offensive plays, he’s due a $2 million bonus. Win it and he gets $4 million. Not bad for a day’s work.

Alan Gionet is anchor of the CBS4 Morning News and reports on a wide variety of issues and “Good Question” stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV.


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