Over the past month, we have written several times about the bonus money Jimmy Garoppolo and Cassius Marsh will earn from the New England Patriots playoff run. When the Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, they each earned $51,000. When the Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in the conference championship game, they were guaranteed either $56,000 or $112,000 depending on the result of the Super Bowl.
The bonuses are paid out of an NFL pool, and do not impact a team’s salary cap. A player’s normal annual salary is paid out based on the 16 games they play during the regular season. They can get it spread out so they receive pay checks throughout the entire calendar year, but it is all payment for work completed during the regular season.
That being said, players do have to pay taxes on playoff bonuses. And this is where it gets interesting for Garoppolo and Marsh. SI legal analyst Michael McCann and tax analyst Robert Raiola broke down how the playoff bonuses will allow Garoppolo and Marsh to earn more money from the Super Bowl than Tom Brady.
Minnesota has a “jock tax” which requires a “nonresident salaried employee of a pro sports team” to pay taxes on income earned while working in the state. As McCann and Raiola explain it, the income subject to tax in Minnesota is determined by taking total compensation for the year and figuring out the prorated version for “duty days” worked in the state. So, for every day Tom Brady spends in Minneapolis preparing for the Super Bowl, he will have to pay taxes on his bonus money.
Garoppolo and Marsh will not be working in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, and even if they attend the game as fans, they will not be required to pay that jock tax. They will instead pay taxes based on their state of residence. California has the highest state income tax in the country, but it requires one be a resident for a continuous period. The state requires a person be present for 366 days to be a resident. Garoppolo was either a resident of Massachusetts or Illinois. Even if he becomes a California resident later this year, the bonus money would have come before then, and thus is not subject to California state income tax.
All of this is to say, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cassius Marsh are likely to pay less in taxes on this bonus money than Brady will have to pay. Of course, given the combined wealth of Brady and Gisele Bündchen, it’s pretty much a drop in the bucket, or money they’d find in their couch.