Nearly $600 million to players in performance-based pay from 2002-09; Performance-based benefit out in 2010
NFL players have been paid nearly $600 million during the eight seasons of the “Performance-Based Pay” program, which was created as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement extension with the NFL Players Association.
The program created a fund that was used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary. As agreed to by the union in the most recent CBA extension in 2006, the fund is only paid in League Years in which a Salary Cap exists. Because 2009 was the last year under a Salary Cap system, Performance-Based Pay will not continue in the 2010 League Year, the final League Year of the current CBA.
Safety Erik Coleman (right) topped all players in performance-based pay since the program was instituted, earning a combined $837,654. Coleman played for the New York Jets from 2004-07 and for the Atlanta Falcons the past two seasons. He is one of 24 players who have earned at least $650,000 in performance-based pay in their careers (list below).
Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan, a 2008 sixth-round draft selection from Notre Dame, earned a league-high $397,555 in additional pay for the 2009 season.
Approximately $109.5 million of Performance-Based Pay was distributed to players for their performance during the 2009 season.