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Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, center, watches as players react after Russell Wilson was intercepted by New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, center, watches as players react after Russell Wilson was intercepted by New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX. Matt Rourke—AP

Pete Carroll's Horrendous Play Call Cost Seahawks Players $3 Million

Feb 02, 2015

The "worst call in Super Bowl history." That's how the decision of Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to throw the ball on the 1-yard line rather than hand the ball to the NFL's best power running back, Marshawn Lynch, will be remembered.

The decision, which resulted in a stunning interception by the Patriots, lost the Super Bowl championship for the Seahawks. It also cost Seahawks players and the team as a whole a huge chunk of change. How much?

Last year, according to CNBC, 63 players on the Seahawks roster were collectively awarded $5.8 million in bonus pay after the team won the 2014 Super Bowl. On the other hand, the game's runner-ups, the Denver Broncos, received bonuses to the tune of "just" $2.9 million. The exact number of players that get playoff and Super Bowl bonuses varies because players on the injured reserve, and even some who are traded during the season but played a significant number of games with the team that year, receive bonuses alongside all of those on the official game-time 53-player roster.

This year, the salary bonus for players on Super Bowl teams has inched up a bit to $97,000 (up from $92,000 a year ago) for each winning player, compared with $49,000 for players on the losing squad ($46,000 a year ago). So the total gap between the game's winners and losers should be a bit higher than it was last year, when the difference was just under $3 million.

Then we must add in the fact that each of the 150 or so players and coaches on the winning team gets a blingy Super Bowl ring. The NFL allocates $5,000 per ring, but the winning teams are known to spend much more on them. Given how rare and collectible they are, a Super Bowl ring is easily valued at $50,000 to $75,000 and sometimes is worth in the hundreds of thousands if it's owned by a notable player or coach.

All in all, the Seahawks collectively just lost something north of $3 million—likely far, far more—because their coach, Pete Carroll, blew the game with a shockingly inexplicable play call.

Read next: Questions Surround Seahawks Coach After Super Bowl-Losing Play Call

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