The NFL’s performance-based bonus pool allows players on smaller contracts to be compensated for their work, and several Detroit Lions came out nicely for 2022.
The Detroit Lions again relied on rookies and lower-end free agent signings last season, to positive effect as they finished 9-8. For all the NFL gets wrong in terms of player compensation, they have gotten one piece of the equation right. Via the collective bargaining agreement, there’s a $10.5 million pool for each team that gets divied up among players on lower-cost contracts based on playing time and salary. Anyone who qualified and played even one snap gets a piece of that pie.
As would be typical of a younger, building team like the Lions, several players got nice performance-based bonuses for their work during the 2022 season.
Via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, here’s are the Lions who got the 10 highest performance-based bonus, how many snaps they played last season, and how much they got.
Safety Kerby Joseph, 1,408 snaps, $523,538
Tight end Brock Wright, 762 snaps, $451,678
Guard Jonah Jackson, 918 snaps, $441,996
Defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs, 758 snaps, $434,816
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, 835 snaps, $421,923
Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, 685 snaps, $389,914
Defensive tackle Alim McNeill, 784 snaps, $366,610
Cornerback Jerry Jacobs, 619 snaps, $366,440
Safety DeShon Elliott, 889 snaps, $355,978
Defensive lineman John Cominsky, 610 snaps, $327,154
Defensive back Savion Smith played just two snaps before suffering a neck injury in Week 5 against the New England Patriots, and he got a $1,186 performance-based bonus.
Detroit Lions’ players collected some nice supplemental income
For Joseph, his performance-based bonus was almost three-quarters of his $705,00 salary. Rodriguez, also a rookie of course himself, also had that same $705,000 base salary. Jacobs’ performance-based bonus was almost equal to his $455,000 base salary, and he missed the start of the season working his way back from a torn ACL.
The only Lions player on the above list who had a 2022 base salary over $1 million for last season was Jackson ($1,046,069), though Elliott, Buggs and Cominsky were close ($965,000). So everyone added to their pay pretty nicely, and most of these players are in line for key roles again next season.