The NFL announced Tuesday that it paid out more than $121 million in performance-based pay in 2015 under a system that rewards players who log significant playtime that ranks over their average compensation level.
The league also announced the top 25 recipients under the system. Broncos center Matt Paradis, a former sixth-round pick who started for the Super Bowl champions in his second season, made the most money at $391,648. The top four recipients were offensive linemen.
Performance-based pay is computed by totaling a player’s regular-season snaps and dividing that number by his adjusted regular-season compensation — full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives — and comparing that final number to the final number of his teammates.
Every player who takes a regular-season snap is eliigible for the program. Former undrafted players or low-round picks who earn starting roles while still playing on their rookie contracts are in line to earn the most money under the program, which has paid out more than $1 billion since being established in 2002.
Ex-Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones, who last week cashed in on a big free agent deal with the Lions, was No. 20 on this year’s list with $261,458 in performance-based pay. Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler of the Patriots, college wide receiver turned offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva of the Steelers and veteran wide receiver James Jones of the Packers were among the other notable names on the top 25 list.