One of the best things the NFL does is its performance-based pay distributions, where they dish out extra money to significant contributors who are on the lower end of the league’s wage scale. The money is not tied to the salary cap at all and works as a direct cash bonus to the qualifying players.
Because the performance based-pay distributions are tied to snaps played and low salaries, it’s not surprising that most of this money ends up in the hands of rookie contract defensive backs and offensive linemen — players who are on the field for virtually every down on their side of the ball, if they’re preferred starters.
Former #Eagles safety Marcus Epps, who left in free agency for the #Raiders, led the NFL with a $880,384 performance-based pay distribution for 2022. pic.twitter.com/S9OiYxULBi— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 17, 2023
The NFL released its top 25 payments from this system for the 2022 season on Friday. Two Green Bay Packers offensive linemen, right guard Jon Runyan Jr. and center Josh Myers, were able to make the cut.
Runyan is set to make $790,159 from the league (good for fifth on the list) while Myers will be sent an extra $638,041. For perspective, Myers is the only player who was drafted in the first two rounds to earn a spot in the top 25. All but three of the players in the top 25 were drafted in 2019 or later — meaning that they were playing on rookie contracts in 2022.
Below is the positional breakdown of the top 25 players to receive the largest performance-based pay distributions:
- 12: Defensive backs
- 11: Offensive linemen
- 1: Receiver and linebacker
Runyan has been a two-year starter for the Packers and managed to suit up for 96 percent of Green Bay’s offensive snaps last year. Myers has been the Packers’ preferred starter at center since he was drafted but missed the majority of the 2021 season with an injury. In his first full year in the league, he played on all 1,091 offensive snaps that Green Bay was on the field for. Both are expected to return as starters for the 2023 season.