Heading into Tampa Bay’s game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon, Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski needed five catches, 58 receiving yards, or three touchdowns to get a handsome incentive heading into the postseason.
Gronkowski hauled in seven receptions with 137 yards and landed a $1 million bonus and quarterback Tom Brady completed 29 of 37 passes for 326 yards with three touchdowns in the Bucs’ 41-17 win over Carolina.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn (21) celebrates his score against the Carolina Panthers with wide receiver Tyler Johnson (18) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
With under 7 minutes to go in the game, the Bucs held a two-touchdown lead over the Panthers, but Brady made sure to go back onto the field to help Gronkowski get one final reception to land the $500,000 bonus.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Le’Veon Bell (6) scores on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Brady finished with a career-best 5,316 passing yards this season and a Bucs single-season record 43 touchdown passes for the defending Super Bowl champions. Wide receiver Mike Evans caught two TD passes, and ended the year with 14, which is a Bucs record.
Evans also became the first player in league history to begin a career with eight-straight seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) gets hit by Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Jermaine Carter (4) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
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After the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams in overtime, the Bucs earned the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and they will square off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Tampa next week.