Similar to many Wall Streeters who receive performance-based bonus compensation, NFL players who make it into the postseason are rewarded with bonus checks as part of postseason shares that the NFL distributes.
Each season, the NFL sets a predetermined amount to compensate players based on how far their team goes in the playoffs. The bonuses kick in with the wild card and divisional playoff games and grow incrementally as players fight for the ultimate prize, the Vince Lombardi trophy.
As the Patriots and Seahawks gear up for America's biggest game of the year in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, each player on the losing team's 53-man roster is guaranteed a bonus check of $49,000 just for being there.
For the winning the team, the prize is a little sweeter, with a payout this year of $97,000, according to the 2014 NFL Media Guide. That means the journey from divisional leaders to Super Bowl champions pays out a total of $165,000 this year, a 5.1 percent increase from last season.