Every year, some NFL players are able to earn more money than they are actually given via their contracts if they’ve performed at a high-enough level to qualify for what is termed “performance-based pay.” In total, the National Football League’s Players’ Association has built a special fund to compensate players who are outperforming their contracts in the collective bargaining agreement. This year, each team had $8.5 million to distribute among deserving players.
This year, the Chiefs had 70 total players qualify to varying degrees for a portion of that fund. There’s an “index” at work on the part of the NFLPA to figure out how to supplement a player’s income proportional to the total number of snaps he played for a particular team. You can read more here about how it all works, but suffice to say that the more a player plays and the less he earns in his original contract, the more he can make via performance-based pay.
Charvarius Ward led the entire NFL in performance-based pay in 2019 and he was among the two leading Chiefs players again this year in 2020. That’s not hard to understand given that Ward is still playing out his rookie deal as a former undrafted free agent who landed a starting role pretty early in his career in K.C. Last year, Ward earned over $650K in additional monies for performance-based pay, and he earned another $412K in 2020, per a new report from the NFLPA.
The list of performance-based pay earnings are out for the K.C. Chiefs in 2020.
As for this year’s leader, Andrew Wylie was rewarded for playing 92 percent of all offensive snaps—as the team’s starter at right guard—with a nice lump sum of $542K. He wasn’t the only lineman who enjoyed a bonus payout for helping the Chiefs weather so many significant injuries up front. Nick Allegretti pocketed $393K as a man who took over left guard in the wake of Kelechi Osemele‘s injury, and Mike Remmers was given over $350K for holding down right tackle after Mitchell Schwartz was injured.
Other players who were among the top performance-based pay earners in 2020 include linebacker Ben Niemann, cornerback Rashad Fenton, safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton and defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon. Interestingly, Patrick Mahomes received just over $100K in PBP, while Travis Kelce earned $44K and Tyreek Hill earned nearly $28K.