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Packers Use Workout Bonuses in Contracts to Guarantee OTA Attendance

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We look at which starters will likely be in Green Bay on Monday thanks to the language written into their contracts.

Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

One way for an NFL team to ensure that its players show up for Organized Team Activities during the offseason is through workout bonuses. OTAs are strictly and entirely voluntary, meaning that there can be no retaliatory action taken against any player who does not attend. However, workout bonuses are becoming more and more prevalent in player contracts around the league, and their addition to the deals all but guarantees that a player with that clause will be present at all OTAs and training sessions.

In recent years, the Green Bay Packers and Ted Thompson have been extremely diligent in including these workout bonuses in their star players' contracts, thus ensuring that they will be present in Green Bay by giving them a financial incentive to do so. In fact, contract database Spotrac.com shows that 18 Packers currently under contract have workout bonuses built into their deals for the 2013 season:

Position Player 2013 Workout Bonus
QB Aaron Rodgers $500k
WR Jordy Nelson $250k
WR James Jones $100k
TE Jermichael Finley $300k
FB John Kuhn $100k
T Bryan Bulaga $100k
G Josh Sitton $300k
G T.J. Lang $200k
NT Ryan Pickett $200k
ILB Brad Jones $200k
ILB A.J. Hawk $250k
ILB Desmond Bishop $200k
OLB Clay Matthews $500k
CB Tramon Williams $300k
CB Jarrett Bush $100k
K Mason Crosby $150k
P Tim Masthay $100k
LS Brett Goode $25k

That's a lot of cash that the team will give out in workout bonuses this year - $3.875 million in total. For star players like Rodgers and Matthews, the workout bonuses are also good ways to spread out the players' cap hits, but in other cases they are almost certainly used as assurances that the players will be attending OTAs. As such, it should be safe to assume that every one of these players will be in Green Bay this weekend for the start of OTAs on Monday.

Green Bay Packers' Complete Off-season Workout Schedule

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