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2012 performance-based pay: Bruce Miller rakes it in

The NFL released information on 2012 performance-based pay. We take a look at how Bruce Miller cashed in during the 2012 season.


In some under the radar news, 49ers fullback Bruce Miller has earned an additional $273,426 in performance-based pay for his 2012 season. We have a full rundown below of the players who received performance-based pay, courtesy of Matt Maiocco. My favorite is that Brandon Jacobs got $1,583 in performance-based pay. I realize he did technically make a contribution to the team. But five carries for seven yards earns $1,583 in cash? Seriously?

The NFL has a performance-based pay system that helps reward players who have potentially exceeded the value of their contract in a given year. It is not quite like getting a seven figure raise, but it can be a nice boost for players on the bottom end of the salary scale. It does not impact the salary cap.

The system was created under the 2002 collective bargaining agreement, and all players are eligible in any regular season in which they play at least one official down. The system was initially created "by slowing the annual increases in minimum base salaries for all players and by blunting increases in the rookie pool." In the first year of the fun, 49ers offensive lineman Eric Heitmann was the top recipient, earning $42,048. The numbers have climbed considerably, and I imagine part of that has come from the rookie salary cap that has been imposed.

The pay is computed by using a "player index". To produce the index, a player's regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player's index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his pay.

Each player on the same team com­petes for his own share of his club's Performance-Based Pay pool. The hypothetical example in the table below illustrates how the index works, using a simplified four-player team and a club bonus pool of $1,000,000. Each player receives his share of the pool depending on how his index compares to those of his teammates. This year, the pool total per team was $3,460,000. In year one (2002), the pool total per team was




% of Club Bonus Pool
(C/Team Total C)

Hypothetical Bonus
(D * $1,000,000)

Player A


$ 500,000


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

50% * $1,000,000 = $500,000

Player B


$ 1,000,000


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

25% * $1,000,000 = $250,000

Player C


$ 500,000


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

20% * $1,000,000 = $200,000

Player D


$ 1,000,000


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

5% * $1,000,000 = $5,000

Team Total:

20.0 Points


49ers 2012 performance-based pay

Bruce Miller $273,426
Chris Culliver $229,252
Alex Boone $223,141
Demarcus Dobbs $126,695
Will Tukuafu $121,151
Darcel McBath $116,065
Tarell Brown $111,641
Perrish Cox $106,456
Anthony Dixon $106,168
Ricky Jean Francois $104,809
Tramaine Brock $101,894
Kyle Williams $93,625
Garrett Celek $89,283
Tavares Gooden $89,115
NaVorro Bowman $88,412
Mike Iupati $86,802
Colin Kaepernick $85,545
Joe Staley $79,509
Leonard Davis $75,028
Daniel Kilgore $73,096
Delanie Walker $69,794
Ahmad Brooks $67,196
Anthony Davis $64,991
Kendall Hunter $62,336
Aldon Smith $59,900
C.J. Spillman $53,625
Ray McDonald $52,578
Jonathan Goodwin $51,675
Michael Wilhoite $46,990
Donte Whitner $45,916
Larry Grant $43,468
Carlos Rogers $39,871
Dashon Goldson $33,838
Randy Moss $31,074
Mario Manningham $27,758
Patrick Willis $27,301
Eric Bakhtiari $26,265
Brian Jennings $25,685
Vernon Davis $25,654
Frank Gore $24,749
LaMichael James $23,956
Justin Smith $23,572
Ted Ginn $21,009
Michael Crabtree $19,331
Clark Haggans $15,850
Andy Lee $15,762
Isaac Sopoaga $13,414
Ian Williams $13,258
Alex Smith $11,501
Trenton Robinson $10,970
David Akers $9,276
Tony Jerod-Eddie $8,860
A.J. Jenkins $5,270
Cam Johnson $4,611
Brandon Jacobs $1,583