A year ago, I wrote about how Gerald Hodges received a raise in salary due to the Proven Performance Escalator. We’re back with word that center Marcus Martin and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch will receive similar raises for the 2017 season.
The proven performance escalator (PPE) was added to the 2011 collective bargaining agreement as a way for draft picks in rounds three through seven to earn some extra money. It is based on snap count, and if a certain threshold is met in the first three years of a rookie contract, a player automatically gets a pay raise in year four. First and second round picks are not eligible for the PPE.
Martin’s base salary goes from $758,000 to approximately $1.818 million, and Lynch’s from $690,000 to approximately $1.838 million. I say “approximately” because the numbers are based on the final salary cap and certain restricted free agent tenders.
Now like I said above, these are likely temporary numbers, as they aren’t set until the NFL sets the salary cap for the new league year, but it is possible that they have changed the formula, and are now doing it by a percentage raise, as Martin, and Lynch’s old base salaries are not the same. Here is what their new salary cap numbers could look like in 2017.
Base Salary: $1,818,000
Signing Bonus Proration: $167,813
Workout Bonus: $20,000
2017 Salary Cap Number: $2,005,813
Base Salary: $1,838,000
Signing Bonus Proration: $49,500
2017 Salary Cap Number: $1,887,500
Here is a rundown of how the PPE works. The CBA states that an eligible player will qualify for the PPE in his fourth League year if:
(1) he participated in a minimum of 35% of his Club's offensive or defensive plays in any two of his previous three regular seasons; or
(2) he participated in a "cumulative average" of at least 35% of his Club's offensive or defensive plays over his previous three regular seasons. "Cumulative average" means the sum of the total number of offensive or defensive plays in which the player participated over the applicable seasons, divided by the sum of the Club's offensive or defensive plays during the same seasons. (By way of example, if a player participates in 600 of the Club's 1,000 offensive plays in his first season, 290 of the Club's 1,000 plays in his second season, and 310 of the Club's 1,000 plays in his third season for a total of 1,200 plays out of a possible 3,000, the cumulative average would equal 40%).
As far as the salary is concerned, the PPE shall equal the difference between (i) the amount of the Restricted Free Agent Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only as set forth in, or as calculated in accordance with, Article 9 for the League Year in such player's fourth season and (ii) the player's year-four Rookie Salary (excluding signing bonus and amounts treated as signing bonus). The resulting amount shall be added to the stated amount of the player's year-four Paragraph 5 Salary.
Here is how the rest of the 2014 draft class after the second round looked in terms of snap count. They were all eligible to earn the PPE, but came up short in snap totals. Dontae Johnson is the most notable. His snap total has declined each year, with the biggest drop from 2015 to 2016. If he had maintained his 2015 level of snaps this past season, he likely would have qualified for the PPE.
WR Bruce Ellington
CB Dontae Johnson
CB Keith Reaser
The 49ers drafted eight players after the second round in the 2015 NFL Draft. Trent Brown is a lock to earn the PPE. He did not get a lot of snaps as a rookie, but he played all but two of the team’s offensive snaps. If the offense plays the same number of snaps in 2017 as they did in 2016 (1,011) and he did not play a single snap, he would still have played 39.99 percent of offensive snaps. He needs a cumulative average of 35 percent, so the PPE is essentially already earned.
Eli Harold has played in 44.87 percent of defensive snaps through the first two years of his career. If he sees a decline to his rookie year (337 of 1137 defensive snaps), he would still finish with 39.8 percent of defensive snaps. We don’t know what the plan is for him in the team’s new defense, so it is possible there are drastic changes to his role. However, if he gets a significant opportunity again, he will earn the PPE.
Tight end Blake Bell has a shot at the PPE, but he is going to have to put together a pretty significant role for himself in 2017. The team signed Vance McDonald to a contract extension this past fall, and Garrett Celek last spring. We don’t know what Kyle Shanahan has in store for his tight ends, so we will have to wait and see what kind of role Bell can expect.
Here are the 2015 round draft class snap count percentages thus far. Again, only picks in rounds three through seven are eligible. Additionally, it is for offensive and defensive snap counts, so punter Bradley Pinion is not eligible.
RB Mike Davis
WR DeAndre Smelter
TE Blake Bell
OT Trent Brown
OLB Eli Harold