NFL Salary Cap – Performance-Based Pay within Player Benefits

One of the local Tweeters here in Denver just recently shot over this question regarding Performance-Based Pay (PBP);

eyeondenver ‏@youreyeondenver15 May

@Ted_Sundquist Wouldn’t mind some detail about bonus checks players rec after season based on CBA – how calculated, who’s eligible…”

Performance-Based Pay

TGC Performance Based PayPerformance-Based Pay just happens to be the next item on the list of NFL Player Benefits that are deducted from Player Cost Amounts that lead to the annual Salary Cap number.  Performance Based Pay is another progressive move from an earlier extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (not the most recent) that rewards players for their on-field contributions above and beyond their base salary and any other allotted bonuses.  Essentially it provides for those players that may have outperformed their existing contract by extensive playtime.

Performance-Based Pay disappeared in 2011 after the lockout and subsequent extension of the CBA.  But it returned in 2012 and is administered as follows (paraphrased from the CBA);

The fund consisted of about $3.46 million per club in 2012 and is set to expand based upon Projected AR (All Revenues).  There’s a maximum of a 5% increase on an annual basis.


TGC Performance Based Pay 2Eligibility is determined solely on playtime % and any player that has at least 1 play in a regular season game is qualified.  Each player’s percentage is determined by simply adding up all offensive or defensive, and special teams plays he participated in throughout an entire regular season, then dividing by the total offensive or defensive plays, plus special teams, to get the determined percentage number.

As defined by the CBA;

A play is counted towards playtime percentage if the play runs to completion, regardless if the play was nullified by a penalty (e.g., a play that is blown dead by a penalty, due to a false start or encroachment penalties, etc. do not count in this calculation). A play is defined by the personnel on the field. A fake punt or field goal is considered a Special Teams play, and a 2-point conversion attempt is considered an offensive/defensive play.

Calculating Performance-Based Pay

TGC Vontaze BurfictPerformance-Based Pay Compensation is calculated by taking all of the full Paragraph 5 (P5 = base salary), prorated signing bonus for the season (plus any accelerated signing bonus due to release), earned incentives, and any other compensation earned in the given season.

Players under the Minimum Salary Benefit (Vet Mins) will be calculated under the P5 for a player with at least two Credited seasons and not the stated P5 amount.

Should some of a player’s P5 be treated as Signing Bonus (that is guaranteed) the full P5 amount will be used, rather than the current year’s proration.

An INDEX will be calculated by taking the player’s Playtime % and dividing it by his Compensation, and the amount ultimately rewarded to the player is as follows;

Each player shall receive an allocation from the fund determined by dividing his PBP Index by the sum of the PBP Indices for each player on the Club and then multiplying that percentage by the Club’s total PBP allocation.

Well worth the effort

TGC Bruce JohnsonPlayers have an opportunity to recalculate their individual Performance-Based Pay allocation, and if an error can be proven, the difference will be paid to the player and taken from the Club’s allocation for the following League Year’s pool.

The amount that comes from Performance-Based Pay to any one player isn’t staggering in relation to overall salaries that fans have become accustomed to hearing about, but it is one of the few compensation categories that are directly earned by play on the field.  I eagerly awaited this annual report in hopes that player’s that had worked their tails off, and not considered the “elite” of the roster, were fairly recognized for their efforts.  This was another highly progressive move in the growth and change of the CBA.

We’ve still got 7 more NFL Player Benefit categories to go, all very worthy of review.

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