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Kamren Curl leads Washington players in Performance-Based Pay with $477,316

Extra pay day!

Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The NFL has released the numbers for performance based pay earned by players from the 2021 season. Each team hands out $8.5 million to their players based on playing time and salary. Some of the team’s lowest paid players can earn a healthy bonus based on playing time.

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 pools.

Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a player index (“Index”). To produce the Index, a player’s regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season 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.

A big(ish) change in last year’s Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA) was the league pushing those payments back until 2024 or later. Players will now have to wait at least 3 years before they get to see the pay bump earned last year.

The Washington Football Team player who earned the biggest bonus based on last season was 7th round rookie safety Kamren Curl. He quickly became a favorite of coaches due to his work ethic and play in practice. He became a fan favorite due to his play on the field, and his underdog story. He was my personal favorite to win the Mason-Brennan Preseason Hype! Awards last year, and he seems to be the real deal as he outplayed high-priced Landon Collins after he was lost for the season due to injury.

Terry McLaurin, Cam Sims, Cole Holcomb, Troy Apke, Steven Sims Jr., Wes Schweitzer, Isaiah Wright, Logan Thomas, and J.D. McKissic round out the top 10 biggest bonuses. That’s a lot of WRs, but Washington had a very cheap group last year. Wes Schweitzer had the highest playing time % of that group, but he was also a free agent signing making ~$4.5 million per year, while the other guys on the list are mostly making $1m/yr or less on their rookie deals.