Vontaze Burfict’s performance-based pay tops $615,000 in two years


No player has benefitted more from the NFL’s performance-based pay system than Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who has nearly doubled his pay over the last two years.

The performance-based pay system rewards players who make low salaries but get a lot of playing time, and Burfict personifies that more than anyone else in the NFL: An undrafted rookie in 2013 who makes the league minimum, Burfict has been a starter for the Bengals for both of his years in the league.

Last year, Burfict led all NFL players in performance-based pay, making $299,465 (his salary was $390,000). This year, Burfict’s performance-based pay was even better: Burfict gets an additional bonus of $315,848.

The NFL and NFLPA agreed last year that actual issuance of the 2013 performance-based pay will be delayed by two years, from March 2014 to March 2016.

Thus, Burfict already has received the $299,465 from 2012.  He’ll get the $315,848 in 2016.

By the time Burfict sees that money, he will likely have signed his second NFL contract, one that pays him like the solid starter that he is, not like the undrafted free agent that he was.

28 responses to “Vontaze Burfict’s performance-based pay tops $615,000 in two years

  1. Great idea…Let’s give these underpaid guys bonuses, but make them wait until the point where they’ll be signing a new contract to collect it and the bonuses will be considered chump change to them.

  2. Well if he doesn’t want to cash those checks since he’ll be making more money at that point I’ll send him my address and I’ll gladly take those checks and put them to good use.

  3. Good for him. This is a guy that I wrote a lot about before the draft and picked as my favorite value player in that draft and not one of the 32 teams listened to me but they should have because they all messed up on their scouting evaluations of this fantastic player who knows how to play the game and has a supreme attitude and mental outlook as well. I wanted him so bad for the Lions and urged people to pay attention and listen, oh well. Just another great prospect that luckily fell into another team’s lap.

  4. That could be a silver lining……He should treat that money like it does not even exist and put it straight into a retirement account. With interest he would have well over a million dollars in that account a few years down the road.

  5. One of the few cases where I can agree with:


    He suffered for 2 years for his issues that he had at Arizona State and his bad pro day already (he gets paid like a scrub NFL player when he’s a starter).

  6. ^
    The NFL is loaded with lousy scouts running amok, it wasn’t shocking to me that he didn’t get drafted I kind of expected it when I heard all the ridiculous critiques from these supposedly professional scouts.

  7. More proof that people like Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper and Todd MacShay have no more “expertise” when it comes to evaluating talent than the well-informed football fans that populate sites like Pro Football Talk

  8. in 2012 31 teams and anybody in their right mind would have considered Burfict Toxic,He got cut by the Ravens and at the last momment turned it around in Cincinnati, congratulations Vonteze you finally learned how to act

  9. Good players go undrafted all the time. That is why the draft is such a crap shoot.

    Antonio Gates and Kris Dielman both went undrafted in 2003 and became perennial pro bowlers for the Chargers.

    On the flip side, there were 4 busts in the top 10, Charles Rogers, Dewayne Robertson, Jonathan Sullivan and Byron Leftwich, who were paid millions and millions to produce very little.

  10. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict ($315,847.69) is second behind Mills, followed by Cowboys guard Ronald Leary ($307,104.43), Panthers defensive back Melvin White ($269,714.80) and Browns safety Teshaun Gipson ($266,299.14).

    Jordan Mills will receive a league-high $318,243.96

    Jordan Mills gets no love cause he’s an O-Lineman??? He owned Burfict along with all the other Bear’s lineman in game one of last season.

  11. Question: What are the tax consequences of not getting the money right away? Does he pay more in taxes on the two checks because by then his salary has ballooned? Also, are the checks adjusted for time value of money?

    Sorry i know, but i’m really curious…

  12. Glad he’s getting something, but I hope the Bengals might step up when the time comes and show him that they appreciate his work.

    The most impressive thing about this player is that he has kept his personal life together and not relived the issues that red flagged him out of the draft.
    His running in the undies numbers were sloooow, but if anyone bothered to look at his college tape the guy was always a stud. Pure playmaker.

  13. A. Burfict was never on the Ravens, and thus, was not “cut” by them.

    B. Burfict gets love because he’s all over the field making plays. Great story and great player. Not to diminish OL, they just don’t have the same potential to be all over the field making plays.

    C. Agreed, he’ll follow Marvin wherever he goes – he’s basically said he owes his career to him.

  14. The issues that red flagged him in the draft were largely on-field personal fouls. His personal life was never in question.

    He just played recklessly in college and had a horrible pro day. That’s enough to get Mayock and the other experts on a vendetta to destroy your draft stock.

  15. It’s bogus that he has to wait more than 2 years to collect money he’s already earned.

    They should fix that to pay players any performance incentive money they have already earned instead of making them wait longer than 2 years, or at least make the teams pay them interest for using their money for 2+ years.

  16. It’s amazing to me that Burfict went undrafted. Way too many scouts are jumpy when It comes to players and off-field issues or on-field temper issues in this case. Luckily there are still some teams that will take a roll of the dice with the draft. In this case, It definitely worked out. The Bengals are paying this kid the minimum and he
    is a full-time starter, not just a starter either, a damn good starter. A+ to the Bengals.

  17. What’s the purpose for waiting two years to pay these guys? The NFL can’t come up with the cash? I literally can’t think of one reason you’d have to wait two years.

  18. I can think of 1 thing that would possibly make a little sense out of it. It could act as a decent budgeting tool for guys who aren’t going to get a big contract later. I know it seems like that isn’t the case, but there are always UDFAs and other minimum salary fringe guys who endup getting a lot of playing time due to injuries/playing for a bad team/whatever, and they get exposed as marginal reserve players who were playing above their pay grade. There are always guys who get PT and don’t make it past 3 years in the league. This is just speculation on my part, but for some of of those guys who find themselves marginally employed if at all, it might be helpful (though I don’t like forced savings) to get $300,000 now and $200,000 in 2 years instead of $500,000 now and then $0 when you don’t make a team.

  19. Not a fan of the 2 year delay–pretty peculiar (man, the union is a doormat). They are rewarding last year’s play because the guys were underpaid last year, so of course they delay that by a couple years. What’s worse, Matt Hasselback, who earned $2M or so this year as a backup QB, was awarded about $800. By the time he gets it, will he even remember what it’s for? “Oh, hey, Goodell finally paid me for that goldfish eating stunt. I almost forgot about that…. Or maybe some change fell out of my pockets last time I was visiting HQ and they’re just now returning it.”

    Next time my kids get a good report card, I’ll take them out for ice cream… two years later.

  20. Since it’s performance-based, how much Dalton owe the league for his pathetic performances?

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