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Tom Brady and Antonio Brown. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
- Tom Brady helped wide receiver Antonio Brown reach a $250,000 contract bonus on Sunday.
- Brown needed 11 receptions against the Falcons to hit 45 receptions on the season, triggering a quarter-million-dollar bonus on his contract.
- In the game's waning moments, Brady targeted Brown on three consecutive short passes to ensure his receiver would get his bonus.
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Tom Brady used the waning minutes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers regular-season finale against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to ensure that wide receiver Antonio Brown hit a contract bonus worth $250,000.
Heading into Sunday, Brown was one of many players across the NFL with a performance bonus within reach. If Brown finished the season with 45 catches, he'd make an extra quarter-million on top of his contract.
Before kickoff against the Falcons, Brown had caught 34 passes in seven games played for the Buccaneers, needing 11 to hit his number.
Brown started the game well, including reeling in an impressive touchdown catch in the second quarter to help the Buccaneers take a healthy lead into halftime.
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Through 57 minutes of football, Brown had eight catches on the day, just three short of cashing in his $250,000 bonus.
The Buccaneers got the ball back with just 2:14 remaining in regulation and holding a 44-27 lead. In normal circumstances, one would expect Tampa Bay to run the ball and drain the clock through their final possession to end the game. However, Brady did his receiver a solid, targeting Brown on three consecutive easy passes for a $250,000 payday.
After picking up the first down, Brady knelt the game away, sealing the win for the Buccaneers and a healthy bonus for his wide receiver.
Brady has looked out for Brown since he nearly flamed out of the league after a brief and chaotic stint with the Raiders. Brady recruited Brown to the Patriots last year after he left the Raiders, but Brown was released shortly after signing when a former trainer accused him of sexual assault.
When the Buccaneers were looking for help at wide receiver this season, Brady again advocated for Brown to join his team. On Sunday, Brady helped out Brown one more time with three late receptions and a $250,000 bonus.