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Even with a decisive lead over the Panthers, Brady refused to leave the game until Gronk got his $1 million in performance bonuses.



(Getty Images)

With a cool $1 million in performance bonuses on the line, Tom Brady definitely had buddy Rob Gronkowski’s back in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ final regular-season game against the Carolina Panthers.

USA Today reports that the four-time Super Bowl-winning tight end needed 85 receiving yards and seven catches to claim incentives worth $500,000 each headed into the lopsided matchup.

Gronkowski got the yardage bonus early in the second half with a 42-yard catch. But with just under seven minutes left in regulation, all that stood between him and the other $500,000 was a single reception.

With an effectively decisive 31-17 lead and the No. 2 playoff seed locked up, the Bucs coaching staff was ready to bench the starters. But Brady wasn’t about to let his longtime friend and trusty target miss out on a $500,000 paycheck.

Footage captured during CBS’ broadcast shows an incensed Brady grabbing his helmet and telling the coaches that he’s getting back on the field. Moments later, Brady completed a short pass to Gronkowski near the sideline, thereby securing the other $500,000.

Brady sat out immediately after the play as Blaine Gabbert took his place. The Bucs won 41-17, and Gronkowski walked out $1 million richer.


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