The NFL’s performance-based pay system is designed to reward lower-paid players who get a lot of playing time. In the case of Bills tackle Seantrel Henderson, the rewards were significant.
Henderson, the Bills’ seventh-round draft pick last year, started all 16 games as a rookie and was on the field for a total of 1,132 plays. That meant Henderson, whose total compensation last year was $470,880 (based on a rookie minimum salary of $420,000 and a signing bonus of $50,880), got a big performance-based pay bonus of $373,671.
In all NFL players received more than $116 million in performance-based pay, and Henderson’s payout was the biggest of them all. Henderson’s rookie season shows how a guy who falls in the draft can make a lot of extra money if he performs well in his first year.
The other top earners in performance-based pay were Packers center Corey Linsley ($339,566), Bengals center Russell Bodine ($318,612), Titans linebacker Avery Williamson ($315,120) and Rams defensive back E.J. Gaines ($308,338).