Antonio Brown reaches $250,000 bonus with 45 catches

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Antonio Brown‘s contract with the Buccaneers included three $250,000 bonuses for 45 receptions, 600 receiving yards and/or six touchdowns if Tampa Bay made the postseason.

The Bucs went into Sunday having already accomplished the playoff part of it, but the receiver entered with only 34 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns. That gave him a shot only at the 45 receptions.

Mike Evans leaving in the first quarter with a knee injury gave Brown a bigger role and a better chance at the bonus.

Brown made only four catches in the first three quarters, though, leaving him seven short of the mark. He caught three passes on the team’s first drive of the fourth quarter, but with 3:58 remaining, Brown still needed four more catches to trigger the bonus.

Tom Brady targeted him on first down, but the pass fell incomplete. On third down, Brown caught a 30-yard touchdown from Brady.

When the Bucs got the ball back with 2:14 remaining, Brown still needed three receptions to hit his bonus. Instead of trying to get Ronald Jones, who had 978 yards, to his first 1,000-yard season — playing on his rookie deal, Jones had no bonus attached to it — the Bucs and Brady made sure Brown got his money.

Brady threw a screen pass to Brown for 3 yards and then a pop pass to Brown for 6. On third-and-one, the Bucs called the same play and Brown picked up 2 yards on a pop pass.

Three kneel downs by Brady then ended the game.

Brady earned a $562,500 incentive for finishing in the top five in passing yards, according to Auman. The Bucs quarterback finished third behind Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes with 4,633 after throwing for 399 yards against the Falcons.