Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward

NFL Announces Performance Based Pay Distributions

  • Charvarius Ward
  • NFL
  • Performance-Based Pay
By Donnie Zelaya March 13, 2020 0 Comment
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The NFL announced that NFL players will receive $147,952 million in performance-based pay due to their collective efforts in the 2019 season.

Each year, as a part of the collective bargaining agreement, NFL players are entitled to performance-based pay as a result of playing time from the previous season in relation to their salary of the same season. Simply put, a player with a low wage, like an undrafted free agent, who ends up recording a high percentage of his teams plays on offense, defense, or special teams stands to make a significant amount in bonus pay. The Performance-Based Pool is open to all players, but the players who tend to benefit the most are typically selected in the 5th round or later who end up at the top of the depth chart and hold down a starting job most of the season.

Teams who draft well in the mid to late rounds give themselves some shine in addition to seeing their players rewarded without it coming out of the team’s pocket. This year New England had three players in the top 25 of the performance-based pay with Buffalo, Carolina, Baltimore, and Jacksonville, with two players each among the highest rewarded based on performance.

Veteran Based Pool

Also, there is a “Veteran Based Pool” that distributes money to players with at least one accrued season of service. Rookies are not eligible for the Veteran Pool, but they are entitled to performance-based pay monies. In this category, Buffalo had three players in the top 25 while Oakland, Indianapolis, and the New York Giants had two players each in the top 25.

In both categories, New England and Baltimore both had three players in the top 25, and rounding out the best of the rest was Carolina, Buffalo, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Oakland with two players apiece.

What this tells the teams, the league, and the fans is which specific teams are the savviest in identifying late-round talent. While this isn’t an overall indication of a successful season, it is critical in helping organizations across the league identify a particular collegiate team, conference, or geographic region to scout in search of that next “sleeper” pick. Identifying talent in the first round, while never a sure thing, is easier on paper than finding that mid to late-round gem who flourishes each season.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward made the most money from the deal

In some instances, the bonuses can exceed the player’s salary from that same season. Case in point is Charvarius Ward of the Kansas City Chiefs. As a UDFA of the Dallas Cowboys, he was a part of a trade that sent him to the Chiefs, where he initially was a back-up in the secondary. By the end of that first season (2018) in Kansas City, he worked his way into a starting position. Cut to 2019, and Ward held down a starting cornerback position for all 16 games of the season. In doing so, Ward earned $654,750 in performance-based pay, which is more than his base salary last season of $570,000.

Since 2002, the players have received $1.8 billion since the implementation of the performance-based system as agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association. The pay has no impact on teams existing salary cap space, but players are still able to see the reward of consistent play based on being a reliable, consistent player game in and game out rather than on individual statistics.  Below are the top 25 players who benefited the most from each pool, along with the most combined totals from the performance-based and veteran pools.

TOP 25 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY DISTRIBUTIONS FOR 2019

 

PLAYER

 

CLUB

 

POS

 

COLLEGE

ROOKIE

YEAR

DRAFT

ROUND

 

DISTRIBUTION

1  Charvarius Ward Kansas City CB Middle Tennessee St. 2018 UDFA  $428,335
2  Mack Wilson Cleveland LB Alabama 2019 5  $415,296
3  Bradley Bozeman Baltimore C Alabama 2018 6  $403,685
4  Xavier Woods Dallas S Louisiana Tech 2017 6  $403,298
5  Kyle Allen Carolina QB Houston 2018 UDFA  $393,378
6  Ted Karras New England C Illinois 2016 6  $393,363
7  Matt Feiler Pittsburgh T Bloomsburg 2014 UDFA  $387,578
8  J.C. Jackson New England CB Maryland 2018 UDFA  $375,004
9  Levi Wallace Buffalo CB Alabama 2018 UDFA  $363,599
10  Matt Milano Buffalo LB Boston College 2017 5  $360,498
11  Justin Murray Arizona T Cincinnati 2016 UDFA  $346,499
12  Nathan Gerry Philadelphia LB Nebraska 2017 5  $345,976
13  Tre Flowers Seattle CB Oklahoma State 2018 5  $340,118
14  Dre Greenlaw San Francisco LB Arkansas 2019 5  $339,981
15  Zach Pascal Indianapolis WR Old Dominion 2017 UDFA  $328,890
16  Tre Herndon Jacksonville CB Vanderbilt 2018 UDFA  $327,050
17  Emmanuel Moseley San Francisco CB Tennessee 2018 UDFA  $326,516
18  Gardner Minshew Jacksonville QB Washington State 2019 6  $319,098
19  Jordan Whitehead Tampa Bay S Pittsburgh 2018 4  $313,985
20  Chuck Clark Baltimore S Virginia Tech 2017 6  $311,857
21  Nicholas Morrow Oakland LB Greenville 2017 UDFA  $309,968
22  Marshall Newhouse New England T Texas Christian 2010 5  $307,476
23  Allen Lazard Green Bay WR Iowa State 2018 UDFA  $307,304
24  Dennis Daley Carolina T South Carolina 2019 6  $306,889
25  Jon Halapio NY Giants C Florida 2014 6  $306,081

UDFA – Undrafted free agent

TOP 25 DISTRIBUTIONS FROM THE VETERAN POOL

 

PLAYER

 

CLUB

 

POS

 

COLLEGE

ROOKIE

YEAR

DRAFT

ROUND

 

DISTRIBUTION

1  Ted Karras New England C Illinois 2016 6  $242,584
2  Matt Milano Buffalo LB Boston College 2017 5  $237,672
3  Matt Feiler Pittsburgh T Bloomsburg 2014 UDFA  $236,004
4  Charvarius Ward Kansas City CB Middle Tennessee St. 2018 UDFA  $226,415
5  Nicholas Morrow Oakland LB Greenville 2017 UDFA  $220,013
6  Jordan Whitehead Tampa Bay S Pittsburgh 2018 4  $215,356
7  Jon Halapio NY Giants C Florida 2014 6  $214,374
8  Nathan Gerry Philadelphia LB Nebraska 2017 5  $213,484
9  Xavier Woods Dallas S Louisiana Tech 2017 6  $212,457
10  Bradley Bozeman Baltimore C Alabama 2018 6  $209,495
11  Tre Herndon Jacksonville CB Vanderbilt 2018 UDFA  $205,658
12  Levi Wallace Buffalo CB Alabama 2018 UDFA  $205,356
13  Anthony Walker Indianapolis LB Northwestern 2017 5  $205,094
14  Damontae Kazee Atlanta S San Diego State 2017 5  $202,885
15  Zach Pascal Indianapolis WR Old Dominion 2017 UDFA  $200,948
16  Dion Dawkins Buffalo T Temple 2017 2  $198,085
17  Richie Incognito Oakland G Nebraska 2005 3  $197,329
18  Tre Flowers Seattle CB Oklahoma State 2018 5  $193,666
19  Justin Murray Arizona T Cincinnati 2016 UDFA  $192,648
20  Elijah Wilkinson Denver T Massachusetts 2017 UDFA  $192,217
21  Jon Bostic Washington LB Florida 2013 2  $191,655
22  Jerome Baker Miami LB Ohio State 2018 3  $191,282
23  Pat Elflein Minnesota G Ohio State 2017 3  $190,797
24  Taylor Moton Carolina T Western Michigan 2017 2  $190,592
25  David Mayo NY Giants LB Texas State 2015 5  $190,166

  UDFA – Undrafted free agent

TOP 25 COMBINED DISTRIBUTIONS (PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY PLUS VETERAN POOL)

 

 

 PLAYER

 

CLUB

 

POS

 

COLLEGE

ROOKIE

YEAR

DRAFT

ROUND

PERFORMANCE-BASED

PAY

VETERAN POOL COMBINED DISTRIBUTION
1  Charvarius Ward Kansas City CB Middle Tennessee St. 2018 UDFA  $428,335  $226,415  $654,750
2  Ted Karras New England C Illinois 2016 6  $393,363  $242,584  $635,947
3  Matt Feiler Pittsburgh T Bloomsburg 2014 UDFA  $387,578  $236,004  $623,582
4  Xavier Woods Dallas S Louisiana Tech 2017 6  $403,298  $212,457  $615,755
5  Bradley Bozeman Baltimore C Alabama 2018 6  $403,685  $209,495  $613,180
6  Matt Milano Buffalo LB Boston College 2017 5  $360,498  $237,672  $598,171
7  Levi Wallace Buffalo CB Alabama 2018 UDFA  $363,599  $205,356  $568,954
8  Nathan Gerry Philadelphia LB Nebraska 2017 5  $345,976  $213,484  $559,460
9  J.C. Jackson New England CB Maryland 2018 UDFA  $375,004  $184,032  $559,036
10  Justin Murray Arizona T Cincinnati 2016 UDFA  $346,499  $192,648  $539,147
11  Tre Flowers Seattle CB Oklahoma State 2018 5  $340,118  $193,666  $533,784
12  Tre Herndon Jacksonville CB Vanderbilt 2018 UDFA  $327,050  $205,658  $532,708
13  Nicholas Morrow Oakland LB Greenville 2017 UDFA  $309,968  $220,013  $529,981
14  Zach Pascal Indianapolis WR Old Dominion 2017 UDFA  $328,890  $200,948  $529,838
15  Jordan Whitehead Tampa Bay S Pittsburgh 2018 4  $313,985  $215,356  $529,341
16  Jon Halapio NY Giants C Florida 2014 6  $306,081  $214,374  $520,454
17  Emmanuel Moseley San Francisco CB Tennessee 2018 UDFA  $326,516  $174,002  $500,519
18  Damontae Kazee Atlanta S San Diego State 2017 5  $295,050  $202,885  $497,934
19  Chuck Clark Baltimore S Virginia Tech 2017 6  $311,857  $183,103  $494,960
20  Anthony Walker Indianapolis LB Northwestern 2017 5  $287,430  $205,094  $492,525
21  Eddie Jackson Chicago S Alabama 2017 4  $302,105  $189,171  $491,275
22  Marshall Newhouse New England T Texas Christian 2010 5  $307,476  $169,375  $476,850
23  Richie Incognito Oakland G Nebraska 2005 3  $279,239  $197,329  $476,567
24  Jayon Brown Tennessee LB UCLA 2017 5  $286,641  $188,386  $475,027
25  Orlando Brown Baltimore T Oklahoma 2018 3  $288,015  $177,517  $465,532
UDFA – Undrafted free agent

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