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Vontaze Burfict tops all NFL players in performance-based pay

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The formula for performance-based pay in the NFL rewards players with the lowest salaries who get the most playing time. And no one fit that bill better in 2012 than Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

As an undrafted free agent, Burfict played for the rookie league minimum salary of $390,000 last year. (He also got a $1,000 signing bonus.) And as a starter and every-down player, Burfict got a whole lot of playing time.

So it’s no surprise, via Yahoo Sports, that Burfict got the highest performance-based pay bonus of any player in the NFL, a whopping $299,465.

So Burfict was rewarded, as he should have been, for a great rookie season. Burfict has come a long way since the days when he was complaining that Mike Mayock had hurt his feelings by calling him a “non-draftable kid.”

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44 Responses to “Vontaze Burfict tops all NFL players in performance-based pay”
  1. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 13, 2013 6:39 PM

    im glad for the young man, he got a bad rap, and seems to have turn turmoil into a starting gig with the bengals, keep up the good work young man

  2. FinFan68 says: Mar 13, 2013 6:40 PM

    Mayock was right. He wasn’t a draftable kid but he has worked out so far for the Bengals.

  3. duncanthecat says: Mar 13, 2013 6:42 PM

    A menomaniac stud!

  4. lilrob10201 says: Mar 13, 2013 6:42 PM

    I am still mad that my Eagles did not draft him.I knew he was going to be a beast,but every scout and GM in the NFL doubted him and thought he was going to be a lazy bum and never be productive in the NFL.Now he dominated his rookie year and made all of the doubters shut up.

  5. salutethis says: Mar 13, 2013 6:43 PM

    Good for him…

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 13, 2013 6:44 PM

    Well, now Vontaz can call Mock Wayoff a “non credible old man”. With something to back up his opinion.

  7. kazkal says: Mar 13, 2013 6:44 PM

    Bengals finally have their MLB of the future.

  8. catfanatic1979v1 says: Mar 13, 2013 6:45 PM

    With as much cap space as the Bengals have, you would think they would be much bigger players in free agency.

  9. cullimon says: Mar 13, 2013 6:46 PM

    I was always pulling for him. Hope he keeps it up

  10. ravenator says: Mar 13, 2013 6:48 PM

    Well I think many teams wished they at least used a 7th rd pick on him. Hate that he’s in the division though. Props to Marvin Lewis for taking a chance.

  11. dcbassguy says: Mar 13, 2013 6:49 PM

    He didn’t “get a bad wrap”…. He was a nut job, that figured out how to turn it around just in time to not miss his big pay day.

    He had way to many issues in college, to say he just got a bad wrap.

    I do however agree, that I am glad for the kid, and that he got his life turned around.

  12. bengalbuck says: Mar 13, 2013 6:53 PM

    @ peytonsneck.

    Truth is Vontaze didn’t get a bad rap, he created every bit of heat he got with his actions. That said, I’m glad he turned it around and I’m very happy he is a Bengal.

  13. hyzers says: Mar 13, 2013 6:56 PM

    lol a $1,000 signing bonus? That’s hilarious!

  14. ddogdaddy says: Mar 13, 2013 7:00 PM

    Pay the man.

  15. modellforprez says: Mar 13, 2013 7:06 PM


  16. calhounlambeau says: Mar 13, 2013 7:06 PM

    I’m happy for the guy, i’m rooting for him, but he didn’t dominate by any stretch of the imagination, he filled the void and proved he could compete, that’s all. He still has to show he’s longterm starting material. We’ll see.

  17. teambringitstrong says: Mar 13, 2013 7:08 PM

    Not sold on Burfict; yet. For those of you who follow HS football in California you will know what I’m talking about. One quiet season does not change a leopard’s spots.
    That being said, I hope he’s turned the corner.

  18. rg3andout says: Mar 13, 2013 7:12 PM

    lol a $1,000 signing bonus? That’s hilarious

    the bad part is he had to give his agent a percentage of that…smh

  19. bcdc26 says: Mar 13, 2013 7:13 PM

    I like this system. I just wish it worked both ways where the players that don’t come close to the value of their contracts have to pay back money.

  20. mrlynch33 says: Mar 13, 2013 7:14 PM

    I really wanted this guy. He’ll be the next Navarro Bowman….maybe Patrick Willis.

    Obviously a 49er fan.

  21. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 13, 2013 7:15 PM

    I begged for the Lions to draft him harder than anybody else.

  22. nflcinbengals says: Mar 13, 2013 7:16 PM

    Great for Vontaze, going to be fun watching our new mlb for years to come… and fellow Bengals fans, stop complaining about our activity in FA’s which would you rather have, us going Philly way and having “Dream Team 2.0” or signing the faces of OUR franchise bext year…We can’t over spend and then look lost next year, besides free agency is not the Bengal way, Hate it or Love it

  23. joewilliesshnoz says: Mar 13, 2013 7:17 PM

    Finally, a guy getting paid for what he did on the field. Hope this kid gets a big contract, next time around.

  24. nflcinbengals says: Mar 13, 2013 7:18 PM

    *Next year

  25. nflcinbengals says: Mar 13, 2013 7:22 PM

    Big ups to my fav guy on this site, the ravenator, hope one day we’ll get to where you all are

  26. rickyspanish says: Mar 13, 2013 7:23 PM

    Eat it Mayock.

  27. 1ninerfan says: Mar 13, 2013 7:24 PM

    could have mentioned CB Chris Culliver: $229,200 – he did make it to the SB, or does he have to say something gay……before we talk about him

  28. hyzers says: Mar 13, 2013 7:25 PM

    the bad part is he had to give his agent a percentage of that…smh



  29. EJ says: Mar 13, 2013 7:32 PM

    Hopefully he keeps it up. With all that money comes the possibility of big time trouble. If he can stay clear of the temptations, he’ll be alright. If not, It will be a re-peat of another Bengal.

  30. beauregard says: Mar 13, 2013 7:33 PM

    He earned his reputation. But now it appears he’s grown up and is working hard. I say good for him.
    There will be a big pay day for him someday soon.
    Most peoples tax refund is bigger than his signing bonus.

  31. jobotjones says: Mar 13, 2013 7:54 PM

    1000$ signing bonus? most nfl players find more than that in their right sock after a late night.

  32. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 13, 2013 8:11 PM

    Where does Mayock rank on the “performance based pay” chart?

  33. stew48 says: Mar 13, 2013 8:34 PM

    Calhoun and teambring: You should switch sports, or get your eyes examined.

  34. nflofficeadmin says: Mar 13, 2013 8:39 PM

    I remember, everyone on here was calling him a damn scrub. That includes mike mayock.

  35. eastkoast49er says: Mar 13, 2013 8:44 PM

    1ninerfan… Bruce Miller led our team in P-B pay. But I digress.

    Good job Vontaze! Keep your head up & stay out of trouble then you’ll really get rewarded in 3 years when that rookie contract ends! (unless undrafted FA have different rules)

  36. briang123 says: Mar 13, 2013 9:10 PM

    As a proud ASU alum that wanted Burfict to succeed, I know as well as anyone that Mayock was absolutely right when he called him undraftable. The geniuses here that are ripping Mayock now how the benefit of hindsight and should not be breaking their arms patting themselves on the back. I have no doubt these people are the same geniuses that rip the Bronocos for drafting Maurice Clarett when everyone knew he was undraftable. (Right after flamed out of course, they knew this).

    Besides, by telling it like it was, Mayock did Burfict a huge favor. And if someone drafted Burfict in rounds, say, 1-4, he might have flamed out as unmotivated already.

  37. redbengalnation says: Mar 13, 2013 9:35 PM

    use 6 mil lock em up 3 yrs 2mil per.

  38. nomoreseasontix says: Mar 13, 2013 9:43 PM

    They found him in a trash can, so to speak, while the Raiders are trying everything possible to trade their 1st round MLB before they end up cutting him.
    Being a 40 year Raider fan is very hard…

  39. footballchic777 says: Mar 13, 2013 10:43 PM

    As a Bengal fan, I was very impressed with this kid this year. I hope it continues on in the future.

  40. billsfan1 says: Mar 13, 2013 11:49 PM

    whoops….. we all missed on this one…maybe teams should start using their own resources to study these kids.. not listen to mayock et all…

  41. vex24 says: Mar 14, 2013 7:29 AM

    The Cincinnati Bengals, as an organization, seemed to have developed (this took quite some time & heartaches) talented and troubled young men. Their recent success with Adam Jones, Andre’ Smith and Vontaze Burfict are excellent examples. Mike Brown and Coach Marvin Lewis don’t get the credit that they deserve as supportive mentors for young professional athletes.
    I hope that Vontaze continues with his positive maturing process.

  42. pacific123ocean says: Mar 14, 2013 9:41 AM

    Happy for the young man. But, don’t misunderstand, he earned the reputation he had by his behavior at ASU.

  43. godofwine330 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:36 AM

    This piece of humble pie may have done him good. Hopefully it keeps him in line. Glad the performance based pay is back.

  44. stevincinci says: Mar 14, 2013 4:20 PM

    catfanatic1979v1 says: Mar 13, 2013 6:45 PM

    With as much cap space as the Bengals have, you would think they would be much bigger players in free agency.

    They don’t need to be. Building through the draft. Plus they”ll need to save as much cap money as allowed for future contracts for A.J. Green, Dalton, Geno Atkins, Burfict, Dunlap, etc. It’s going to get expensive to keep them all.

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