The NFL officially announced performance-based pay distributions for the 2017 season earlier this week.
You can find a detailed explanation on how performance-based pay works by clicking here, but in simple terms it’s designed to reward players who play a lot of snaps but aren’t due high salaries (relatively speaking). Note that quality of performance does not factor in here. It’s about playing time. Also note that these payouts DO NOT count against a team’s salary cap space.
For the second year in a row, Jalen Mills led all Eagles players in performance-based pay. Mills is a prime candidate for this benefit since he plays a lot but he’s not making a ton of money because he was a seventh-round pick in 2016.
Last year, Mills earned $324,112.11 in addition to his $450,000 base salary. This year, Mills earned $457,440.17 in addition to his $540,000 base salary. That’s an extra $781,552.28 for Mills over the past two seasons. That’s chump change compared to non-rookie contracts, but it’s nice to see Mills at least get some kind of reward for his efforts. Mills started 15 regular season games for the Eagles and logged 51 tackles, 14 passes defensed, three interceptions, and one defensive touchdown.
Mills’ performance-based pay for the 2017 season was the third most of any NFL player. Checking in at 20th overall was another member of the Eagles’ 2016 draft class: Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Big V made an extra $369,738.85 in addition to his $596,281 base salary. Vaitai struggled at times while filling in at left tackle for Jason Peters but he held up well enough overall.
Former Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson, who signed a minimum contract with Philadelphia last offseason, finished in the top 25 of veteran performance-based pay figures. He made an extra $82,299.68. That obviously pales in comparison to the four-year, $20 million contract (with $10 million guaranteed) he recently signed with the New Orleans Saints.