Antonio Brown did not have a bad game on Sunday against the Vikings by any means, in fact, he led Tampa Bay in receiving with five catches for 49 yards with a long of 16 yards. It especially wasn’t a bad game for AB seeing as how his playing time took a major hit going from nearly 75 percent of snaps two weeks ago to below 50 percent (25 snaps) against Minnesota
It was particularly interesting to see his playing time take such a hit coming out of a bye week. One might imagine the bye would have allowed himself and Tom Brady to get an even better connection with one another.
So, what’s the deal here? Why didn’t AB see the field more against the Vikings.
While it could have strictly been a matchup sort of thing, it also could have something to do with the incentives built into his contract.
According to Pro Football Talk, Brown has $750,000 in incentives tied to his performance which include $250,000 for 45 catches, $250,000 for 650 yards, and $250,000 for six touchdowns. As it stands right now, Brown has 25 catches, 217 receiving yards, and zero touchdowns. He also has a 35% playing time incentive, which he’s on track to meet, but in order for it to kick in the Bucs have to reach the Super Bowl.
Those incentives were put in place for a reason and unfortunately for Brown, Tampa Bay holds all the cards. The incentives are revolved around his performance in the regular season, and with just three games left on the slate, Brown is going to have to get to work if he wants to earn that extra money.
No, $750k wouldn’t break the bank for Tampa Bay, but this situation is worth keeping an eye on. In case you haven’t been paying attention for the past half-decade or so, Brown has a bit of a short fuse, and if the Bucs continue to restrict his minutes not allowing him to earn the incentives we could see some drama in Tampa Bay.