Losing always hurts, but no loss means more in the NFL than to fight all the way to the Super Bowl only to come up short. While the perks that come with the Lombardi Trophy are many, at least the losers on Super Sunday don't go away completely empty-handed.
Players from the team that loses Super Bowl LV (55) in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 7, 2021, will get $65,000 for being one of the last two teams standing. Yes, the winners get $130,000 along with the trophy, the title of "world champion," the subsequent parade at home, and more, but something is better than nothing, right? And at least it's considerably more than than the measly $7,500 the Kansas City Chiefs got for losing the first Super Bowl back in 1967.
Postseason shares are nothing new to the NFL, but the amount has certainly changed. Here's a comparison of this year's playoff shares to what they were back during the 1978 season (Super Bowl XIII). Even adjusting for inflation — $9,000 in 1978 is the equivalent of $35,921 in 2021 — players are getting a hefty pay raise.
Wild Card (div. winner)
Wild Card (other*)
Super Bowl (loser)
Pro Bowl (loser, 2019)
*For the 2020-21 playoffs, this "other" designation also includes top seeds Kansas City and Green Bay, who each got a first-round bye in the expanded bracket.
Source: 2020 NFL Postseason Media Guide
Losing the Super Bowl is a tough pill to swallow, but knowing you pocketed at least $187,000 (before taxes of course) in the process should take some of the sting away.