There’s more to being the GOAT than simply winning Super Bowls, setting all-time NFL records, and marrying supermodels.
Sometimes you have to take care of the people around you, which is what Tom Brady did on Sunday, on the final Sunday of the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Bucs were playing the Panthers, and with not much more to accomplish in the game with a win securely intact, it would make sense for Bucs coach Bruce Arians to pull Brady from the game and keep him safe and healthy for the start of the playoffs.
That’s what Arians tried but failed to do. Brady refused to leave the game, instead staying in to help his friend and teammate Rob Gronkowski attain a fat bonus that was tied to his performance.
Gronk’s contract is loaded with incentives, including one that would pay him $500,000 if he caught 55 passes this season, and another $500K if he finished with 85 yards. When Arians tried to take Brady out, Gronk was sitting at 54 catches. On the sideline before the next possession, Brady appeared to tell backup QB Blaine Gabbert to stay on the sideline because Brady was planning on going back in.
Both he and Gronk took the field, and Brady connected with his tight end one more time, earning the future hall of fame his $1 million.
Does Gronkowski plan on sharing some of those earnings with Brady for helping him out? Here’s what Gronk said after the game.
“It was really nice to get it. Hitting incentives is cool. The Buccaneers are a great organization, putting me in a position where I can hit those incentives, which is awesome. I love playing here. I love playing for this organization. It’s cool to hit those. I’m going to have to bring out all the tight ends to dinner. A couple of the quarterbacks — I don’t bring Tom out, I’ll bring the backups out to dinner.”
It was the ultimate power play by Brady, and quite frankly, he’s the only player with the clout to even think of pulling it off.