(NEXSTAR) – When the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers face off at the Super Bowl on Sunday, only one team will leave with the Lombardi Trophy. But the losers — and even some players who don’t even clock a single second of game time — will leave with a big bonus paycheck.
That’s because of a provision in the NFL’s bargaining agreement with the Players Association. The agreement stipulates players on the winning team earn an extra $164,000 for playing in the Super Bowl, while players on the losing team earn $89,000.
That may not be a lot of money for the teams’ stars on multi-million dollar contracts, but 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was only paid around $870,000 last year, ESPN reports, making him one of the lowest paid QBs in the NFL. A winner's bonus would be nearly 20% of his salary, and even the losing bonus would be about 10%.
Just that one check – for winners or losers – also easily tops the median U.S. household income, which is around $74,580.
This is on top of the $73,000 bonus that Chiefs and Niners players have already bagged for being conference champions, plus other sizable playoffs bonuses earned along the way.
Players are set to receive their Super Bowl bonus pay within 15 day of the big game, according to the agreement.
Chiefs and Niners players don’t even have to play in Sunday’s game to get the extra check, but there are exceptions to who gets the full amount. If you’ve been on the team’s roster for less than three games prior to the Super Bowl, you’re only entitled to half the full amount.
Players who get injured during the regular season, and are therefore dropped from the team’s active and inactive lists, could also get a quarter or half of the full bonus (depending on how many games they played, how many years they’ve been in the league, the status of their contract, and other factors).
The bonus associated with playing in the Super Bowl grows each year, according to the agreement. Last year the winners’ bonus was $157,000. Next year, it’s set to rise to $171,000.
By the 2030-31 football season (the last seasons covered in the most recent bargaining agreement), the Super Bowl winners will each take home an extra $228,000.
Super Bowl LVIII kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.