Home Football Taking stock of smallest, biggest performance-based bonuses from 2016 season Chad Henne...

Taking stock of smallest, biggest performance-based bonuses from 2016 season Chad Henne Dak Prescott Matt Ryan

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No one does delayed Christmas bonuses quite like the NFL.

A star rookie quarterback, a Super-Bowl-winning center and a recent retiree are among NFL players earning big money in performance-based pay this week.

Here’s how it works: Each team has $3.995 million of performance pay that it distributes to players whose playing time is disproportionate to their salaries. As it should be — the lowest paid who do the most work get more coin.

Depending on snap counts, a player can buy a house or an Applebee’s dinner (hi, Chad Henne) with that money.

Things are looking up. For 2015, eight NFL players eclipsed $300,000 in performance-based pay. In 2016, 17 players hit the mark, including four who made back-to-back appearances on the list. And this isn’t counting an additional veterans-only pool that pays more than $90,000 in some cases.

Here’s the breakdown, which is sure to make everyone feel better about tax season.


Top dollar

Bonus: $371,783.11

The undrafted free agent stepped into a larger role when Desmond Trufant got hurt, helped the Falcons make a Super Bowl run, and then helped himself. And now teammates are hitting him up for dollars.

Bonus: $353,544.57

This is just a tease of the money Prescott can earn in endorsements and future salary as the Cowboys’ shiniest star.

Bonus: $346,198.12

Brown started nine games as a rookie, resulting in a serious increase from his $450,000 salary as a sixth-round pick.

Bonus: $342,712.65

A member of the back-to-back $300K club, Allen has earned nearly $750,000 in additional pay over the past two seasons, including $87,000 from this year’s veteran pool.

Bonus: $341,353.27

See, coach Bill Belichick is a cheerful giver after all. Andrews’ bottom line hits $424,000 thanks to both pools — and a great NFL success story.

Bonus: $324,112.11

The Eagles don’t always spend wisely this time of year (see: Daniel, Chase) but this seems worth the investment. Another productive rookie with a spring-cleaning check.

Bonus: $323,714.54

Slogging through last season’s brutal 49ers offense deserves hazard pay. This will do.

Bonus: $317,986.94

Orr retired at age 24 because of a neck and spinal condition, and though his playmaking will be missed, he’ll eclipse $400,000 in new money on his way out. Orr woke up to news of a “nice little check” Wednesday.

Bonus: $317,676.41

After leading the Steelers with 1,151 snaps played, Big Al should go buy some big stuff.

Bonus: $316,310.42

Thirteen starts, 46 tackles, five pass deflections and enough for a healthy down payment on a lovely three-bedroom New Jersey condo.

Short change

Bonus: $35.28

This is the equivalent to the NFL’s participation trophy. At least Blake Bortles‘ backup just signed a one-year, $3.5 million extension.

Bonus: $64.11

Just enough for Romo to download more Bob Dylan songs for his Instagram free-agency updates.

Bonus: $187.53

South Beach is expensive. This one-game payout is barely enough for a night out.

Bonus: $228.12

Clearly, Daniel gave his all on those six snaps played in 2016.

Bonus: $656.19

What did McCarron do to deserve a 14,200 percent bonus decrease from last year’s $93,564.88? Um, well, this is the cost of Andy Dalton staying healthy.


What’s the point?

Bonus: $7,230.77

This brings Ryan’s adjusted compensation to $23,756,240. That last bit is just what the Falcons needed to avoid a potential holdout.

Bonus: $61,611.11

Does OBJ really need more bonus pay than 40 of his teammates? Like, really? Spread this wealth to the vet-minimum guys.

Bonus: $8,380.88

Go ahead and double-tax this amount based on last season’s play.


MVP payback

Bonus: $102,011.18

The close second for Super Bowl MVP doesn’t need Tom Brady‘s truck. He can buy multiple with this haul.



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