When Brown signed his one-year contract with the Buccaneers back in October, the deal included a $250,000 bonus that would only be paid out if Brown were to catch 45 passes. Going into Sunday's game against the Falcons, Brown had just 34 catches on the year, so hitting the bonus didn't seem likely.
To earn the money, Brown was going to have to catch 11 passes against Atlanta. At the end of the third quarter, the money still seemed out of reach for Brown as he only had four catches in the game. If Brown wanted to earn the $250,000, he was going to have to catch seven passes in the fourth quarter.
Although Brady did his best, the Buccaneers quarterback was only able to tack on four more completions to Brown through the first 13 minutes of the quarter. With 2:14 left in the game, Brown still needed three catches, but the problem for him is that the Buccaneers were in a position where they could just kneel the ball to seal the 44-27 win.
Instead of kneeling the ball though, Brady went to work to make sure Brown got the bonus. On a first down play with just over two minutes left, Brady threw a screen to Brown. On the next play, Brady threw a shovel pass to Brown and then one play later, he did the exact same thing. Brown caught his 45th pass of the season by hauling in a throw that traveled exactly one-foot, as you can see below.
A shovel pass counts as a catch and that short throw put Brown at 45 receptions for the season.
Brown's base salary this year was just $1 million, so $250,000 is definitely a nice bonus. The receiver will also make an extra $750,000 if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl. As for Brady, he also cashed in a big bonus this season. The quarterback earned $562,500 for finishing in the top five in passing yards in the NFL.
Brady wasn't the only quarterback feeling generous in Week 17. Russell Wilson also helped a teammate earn a huge bonus when he changed a play call with under 30 seconds left in the game and you can read about that by clicking here.