SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- In his first three seasons in the NFL, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a vested interest in the postseason. As the New England Patriots backup quarterback, Garoppolo had to prepare to play each week and obviously had clear reason to root for one team to succeed in the playoffs.
Now that Garoppolo is with the Niners, he doesn't have the same level of involvement in the Patriots' postseason push but he still has plenty of reason to root for them to overcome the Jacksonville Jaguars in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. As a player who spent at least eight games with a playoff team, Garoppolo can still earn the accompanying bonuses that go with advancing deep into the postseason.
According to former agent Joel Corry, Garoppolo, defensive end Cassius Marsh (Patriots) and defensive tackle Sheldon Day (Jaguars) are all eligible to continue earning full bonuses because they meet the criteria of playing at least eight games for playoff teams and finishing the season on a team in the opposite conference.
Garoppolo, Marsh and Day all earned $51,000 bonuses last weekend as the Patriots and Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. And there's still more where that came from.
If the Patriots beat the Jaguars on Sunday, Garoppolo and Marsh will each earn an additional bonus of at least $56,000, a number that can grow to $112,000 if New England goes on to win the Super Bowl. A Patriots' Super Bowl victory could max out bonuses for Garoppolo and Marsh at $163,000 (the $51,000 from the divisional round plus the maximum of $112,000 for wins in the two following rounds). The same is true for Day should the Jaguars defeat the Patriots and go on to win the Super Bowl.
Of course, the argument could easily be made that such a payday would be far more meaningful to Marsh or Day since Garoppolo will soon be making superstar quarterback money either on a franchise tag or a long-term contract. For the record, Marsh is also about to become an unrestricted free agent. Day is under team control through the 2019 season.
Regardless of future paydays, there's no doubt a little something extra for watching from home and services previously rendered makes for a nice potential reward for players whose seasons have been done for nearly a month.