Rob Gronkowski had a mission in mind heading into the Buccaneers’ final regular season game against the Panthers – but wasn’t so serious about it that he couldn’t make a few jokes.
Cameras captured Gronkowski in the Buccaneers-Panthers game on Sunday, making joking comments about getting his seventh take of the game. That rating would give Gronkowski 55 over the year, earning him $ 500,000 in contract incentives. (He had already touched one of his incentives earlier in the game – also worth $ 500,000 – eclipsing 750 receiving yards over the year).
He was also seen talking to quarterback Tom Brady, who refused to stay on the bench in the fourth quarter as he tried to help Gronkowski achieve his goals in the 41-17 win over Carolina .
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“If I don’t get the seventh catch,” Gronkowski joked, “I have to go get a real job.”
Rob Gronkowski was on the mic Sunday as he tried to hit his $ 1 million in bonuses.
“If I don’t get the seventh catch, I have to go get a real job.”
Tom Brady got the message and made sure to give him the ball. ??
(Going through @NFLFilms)
– Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 11, 2022
With 6:29 left in the game, Brady completed that seventh pass to Gronkowski for 7 yards, giving Tampa Bay a second and three runs off the Panthers’ 20-yard line. The Bucs finally scored a field goal to extend their lead to 34-17. More importantly, the capture allowed the 32-year-old tight end to earn his second incentive of the night and increase his total earnings for the season.
According to Sportrac, Gronkowski can still earn more incentives if the Buccaneers this season. He can earn an additional $ 500,000 if he gets three more touchdowns – he needs nine for the year – and an additional $ 250,000 if Tampa Bay makes it to the Super Bowl again.
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Ahead of Sunday’s game, Gronkowski had two programs to earn an incentive of up to $ 1 million. He needed to make seven catches and record at least 85 receiving yards to earn an extra $ 1 million in incentives for the season. Brady refused to stay on the bench in the fourth quarter before giving the veteran one last chance to earn his second incentive.
Sunday’s victory also helped the Buccaneers take second place in the playoffs. Tampa Bay is scheduled to face the No.7 Eagles on Sunday in the first round of the league wildcard games. A victory at Raymond James Stadium will see the Buccaneers advance to the divisional round.