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The NFL's performance based pay system and Josh Morgan

As part of the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement the League agreed to form a system where by players making the salary minimum can earn a bonus based on their playing time. Each team puts a set amount into this fund which is then doled out to the players based on performance. The total amount available this year was $96 million.

The system runs off what is called a "player index". Basically they look at each player, take the total number of plays during the season (offense, defense, special teams), The player index is generated by taking the total number of plays and divided by the total compensation (salary, bonuses, prorated signing bonuses, earned incentives etc.). This generates an index number which is then compared to other players on the team. After the jump is an example using a 4 player team as a comparison.




Player A


$     500,000


50% of the Club's pool (10 out of 20)

Player B


$  1,000,000


25% of the Club's pool (5 out of 20)

Player C


$     500,000


20% of the Club's pool (4 out of 20)

Player D


$  1,000,000


5% of the Club's pool (1 out of 20)

Team Total:

20.0 Points


Here are the top performers for this year:

John Sullivan, C, Minnesota $397,555
Zack Bowman, CB, Chicago $355,355
Gary Guyton, LB, New England $349,437
William Gay, CB, Pittsburgh $325,607
Josh Morgan, WR, San Francisco $325,421
Carl Nicks, G, New Orleans $317,313
Donald Thomas G, Miami $316,577
Macho Harris, S, Philadelphia $314,565
Orlando Scandrick, CB, Dallas $306,209
David Hwathorne, LB, Seattle $306,091
Dashon Goldson, S, San Francisco $303,763
Josh Sitton, G, Green Bay $300,622


Our own Josh Morgan makes the list with a nice check worth $325,607 which is almost as much as he made in his regular salary this year which was $385,000. Goldson is also on this list with a $303,763 bonus which is a good 65% of his regular pay ($460,000)

It's a nice way for the league to recognize players who have overperformed expectations and it's one of the things that won't be funded in an uncapped year.