The NFL has announced the top annual player performance-based pay amounts for last season. In total, NFL Players will receive $134.16 million in “Performance-Based Pay” this year. The Performance-Based Pay program is a collectively-bargained benefit that compensates all players, including rookies, based upon their playing time and salary levels.
In addition to the Performance-Based Pay pool, the NFL Players Association has elected to dedicate $35.2 million in benefits (i.e., $1.1 million per club) to fund a Veteran Performance-Based Compensation Pool (the “Veteran Pool”) for players with more than one accrued season. In total, $169.36 million will be disbursed to players under the combined pools.
Players become eligible to receive a bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down. In general, players with higher playtime percentages and lower salaries benefit most from the pools.
Earning the sixth highest performance based pay amount was Raiders undrafted rookie linebacker, Nicholas Morrow, pulling in $337,312.82. That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider his base salary last season was $465,000, bringing his combined money earned to over $804,812.82 last season.
Morrow is a fantastic story. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Division III Greenville, he appeared in all 16 games last season, starting five at the weak side linebacker spot.
He finished 8th on the team with 57 combined tackles (37 solo) and 4 passes defended.