NFL players will receive $336 million in Performance-Based Pay for their performance during the 2022 season, the NFL announced today. The Performance-Based Pay program is a collectively bargained benefit that compensates all players based upon their playing time and salary levels.
Safety MARCUS EPPS, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, earned the top amount among all NFL players for the 2022 League Year Performance-Based Pay program – $880,384 – nearly doubling his 2022 salary. Epps, a 2019 sixth-round round draft choice out of Wyoming, started all 17 games for the Eagles, playing in all but 10 of their defensive plays, as well as nearly 38 percent of the club’s special teams plays. Originally drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Epps was claimed on waivers by the Eagles mid-season of his rookie year. In 62 career games, he has recorded 192 tackles, 15 passes defensed and three interceptions. Earlier this week, Epps signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as an unrestricted free agent.
Players have been paid nearly $2 billion cumulatively since the inception of the Performance-Based Pay program, which was implemented as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, and has carried forward in the three subsequent Collective Bargaining Agreements.
HOW PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY WORKS
Under the Performance-Based Pay program, a fund is created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary. 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 pool.
Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a player index (“Index”). To produce the Index, a player’s “PBP Playtime” (defined as the player’s regular season total plays played on offense, defense and special teams, divided by the number of plays of the player with the most total combined plays on that team) is divided by his “PBP Compensation” (defined as regular season full salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player’s Index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his Performance-Based Pay. If a player’s base salary is less than the Minimum Salary of a player with seven or more Credited Seasons, then player’s base salary will be imputed to be equal to the Minimum Salary of a player with seven or more Credited Seasons (i.e., $1.120M for the 2022 season). By imputing a minimum salary of $1.120 million, a slightly higher percentage of the pool is directed to high-performing veteran players whose salaries exceed $1.120 million, but are not among the highest in the league, as contemplated by the formula. This imputation of salary is solely for the purpose of calculating distributions from the pool and does not affect the actual salary paid to the player under his contract.
ILLUSTRATION OF PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY SYSTEM
Each player on the same team competes for his own share of his club’s Performance-Based Pay pool. The hypothetical example in the table below illustrates how the Player Index works, using a simplified four-player team and a club bonus pool of $1,000,000. Each player receives his share of the pool depending on how his Index compares to those of his teammates.
% of Club Bonus Pool
(C/Team Total C)
(D * $1,000,000)
|Player A||85%||$ 1,120,000||7.6||57.1% of the Club’s pool||57.1% * $1,000,000 = $571,000|
|Player B||50%||$ 2,000,000||2.5||18.8% of the Club’s pool||18.8% * $1,000,000 = $188,000|
|Player C||50%||$ 5,000,000||1.0||7.5% of the Club’s pool||7.5% * $1,000,000 = $75,000|
|Player D||25%||$ 1,120,000||2.2||16.6% of the Club’s pool||16.6% * $1,000,000 = $166,000|
|Team Total:||||||13.3 Points|||
** Index is multiplied by 107 for legibility purposes only
TOP 25 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY DISTRIBUTIONS FOR 2022
|2||Cordell Volson||Cincinnati||G||North Dakota State||2022||4||$854,407|
|4||Michael Onwenu||New England||G||Michigan||2020||6||$813,083|
|5||Jon Runyan||Green Bay||G||Michigan||2020||6||$790,159|
|8||Tariq Woolen||Seattle||CB||Texas-San Antonio||2022||5||$742,378|
|9||Dan Moore||Pittsburgh||T||Texas A&M||2021||4||$739,072|
|12||Tashaun Gipson||San Francisco||S||Wyoming||2012||UDFA||$708,106|
|13||Robert Hainsey||Tampa Bay||C||Notre Dame||2021||3||$706,331|
|14||Kader Kohou||Miami||CB||Texas A&M-Commerce||2022||UDFA||$705,584|
|16||Talanoa Hufanga||San Francisco||S||Southern California||2021||5||$703,926|
|17||Jamaree Salyer||L.A. Chargers||G||Georgia||2022||6||$695,838|
|20||Trey Smith||Kansas City||G||Tennessee||2021||6||$663,756|
|22||Nick Scott||L.A. Rams||S||Penn State||2019||7||$649,016|
|23||Jake Brendel||San Francisco||C||UCLA||2016||UDFA||$643,691|
|24||Josh Myers||Green Bay||C||Ohio State||2021||2||$638,041|
|25||Duron Harmon||Las Vegas||S||Rutgers||2013||3||$636,623|
UDFA – Undrafted free agent