For years, the workout bonus has been a significant piece of the puzzle when NFL players’ agents have negotiated contracts for their clients with the Green Bay Packers. For the 2019 season, the team appears to be setting a new franchise record in terms of total money paid out in this manner.
Last season, the Packers paid out about $4.7 million in bonuses, while 2017 was a bit higher at just over $4.9 million. However, in 2019, the Packers are due to pay out a total of $5,755,500 in workout bonuses, which will go to 20 members of the team’s 90-man roster.
For the most part, these players were signed as free agents or negotiated contract extensions with the team over the past several years, as the inclusion of this clause has been a key component to the team’s strategy. The effect of these bonuses is to effectively guarantee veterans’ attendance at the voluntary portion of the offseason workouts, which includes spring conditioning and OTA practices, the latter of which began on Monday.
Interestingly, the two highest workout bonus numbers belong to two of the newest Packers, not the highest-paid person on the roster. Indeed, Aaron Rodgers’ workout bonus of half a million dollars is tied for third, coming in behind the two edge rushers the team signed as free agents. Za’Darius Smith takes the top spot among all players with a reported $750k bonus while Preston Smith’s bonus is just a bit less at $650k. The next tier of players includes Rodgers and new Packer safety Adrian Amos, who along with Davante Adams and David Bakhtiari will get a cool $500k apiece this offseason.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Packers have been able to include workout bonuses in several third-round draft picks’ contracts in recent years. The three such players remaining on the roster — Oren Burks, Montravius Adams, and Kyler Fackrell — all have modest bonuses, coming in between $15k and $25k apiece. This is likely one of the sticking points with tight end Jace Sternberger, this year’s third-round pick and the only player in the Packers’ draft class who has yet to sign his contract.
Here’s a complete look at all of the bonuses on this year’s schedule, with numbers from Overthecap.com:
2019 Workout Bonuses