8:11 AM ET
- Jeremy FowlerESPN Staff Writer Close
- ESPN staff writer
- Previously a college football reporter for CBSSports.com
- University of Florida graduate
No one does delayed Christmas bonuses quite like the NFL.
A star rookie quarterback, a Super-Bowl-winning center and a recent retiree are among NFL players earning big money in performance-based pay this week.
Here's how it works: Each team has $3.995 million of performance pay that it distributes to players whose playing time is disproportionate to their salaries. As it should be — the lowest paid who do the most work get more coin.
Depending on snap counts, a player can buy a house or an Applebee's dinner (hi, Chad Henne) with that money.
Things are looking up. For 2015, eight NFL players eclipsed $300,000 in performance-based pay. In 2016, 17 players hit the mark, including four who made back-to-back appearances on the list. And this isn't counting an additional veterans-only pool that pays more than $90,000 in some cases.
Here's the breakdown, which is sure to make everyone feel better about tax season.
Brian Poole, CB, Falcons
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
This is just a tease of the money Prescott can earn in endorsements and future salary as the Cowboys' shiniest star.
Anthony Brown, CB, Cowboys
Brown started nine games as a rookie, resulting in a serious increase from his $450,000 salary as a sixth-round pick.
Ricardo Allen, S, Falcons
A member of the back-to-back $300K club, Allen has earned nearly $750,000 in additional pay over the past two seasons, including $87,000 from this year's veteran pool.
David Andrews, C, Patriots
See, coach Bill Belichick is a cheerful giver after all. Andrews' bottom line hits $424,000 thanks to both pools — and a great NFL success story.
Jalen Mills, CB, Eagles
The Eagles don't always spend wisely this time of year (see: Daniel, Chase) but this seems worth the investment. Another productive rookie with a spring-cleaning check.
Trent Brown, OT, 49ers
Slogging through last season's brutal 49ers offense deserves hazard pay. This will do.
Zach Orr, LB, Ravens
Orr retired at age 24 because of a neck and spinal condition, and though his playmaking will be missed, he'll eclipse $400,000 in new money on his way out. Orr woke up to news of a "nice little check" Wednesday.
Alejandro Villanueva, LT, Steelers
After leading the Steelers with 1,151 snaps played, Big Al should go buy some big stuff.
Andrew Adams, S, Giants
Thirteen starts, 46 tackles, five pass deflections and enough for a healthy down payment on a lovely three-bedroom New Jersey condo.
Chad Henne, QB, Jaguars
This is the equivalent to the NFL's participation trophy. At least Blake Bortles' backup just signed a one-year, $3.5 million extension.
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
Just enough for Romo to download more Bob Dylan songs for his Instagram free-agency updates.
Jamil Douglas, G, Dolphins
South Beach is expensive. This one-game payout is barely enough for a night out.
Chase Daniel, QB, Eagles
Clearly, Daniel gave his all on those six snaps played in 2016.
AJ McCarron, QB, Bengals
What did McCarron do to deserve a 14,200 percent bonus decrease from last year's $93,564.88? Um, well, this is the cost of Andy Dalton staying healthy.
What's the point?
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
This brings Ryan's adjusted compensation to $23,756,240. That last bit is just what the Falcons needed to avoid a potential holdout.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
Does OBJ really need more bonus pay than 40 of his teammates? Like, really? Spread this wealth to the vet-minimum guys.
Darrelle Revis, CB, Jets
Go ahead and double-tax this amount based on last season's play.
James White, RB, Patriots
The close second for Super Bowl MVP doesn't need Tom Brady's truck. He can buy multiple with this haul.