NEW YORK (AP) NFL players will receive $127.84 million in performance-based bonuses for the 2016 season, led by a payout of $371,783 to Falcons cornerback Brian Poole.
The payments compensate players based on their playing time for their salary levels. Poole was an undrafted free agent who became a regular on the NFC champions’ defense.
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, the Offensive Rookie of the Year who helped the Cowboys to the NFC East title, earned a $353,544 payoff. Prescott was a fourth-round draft pick.
Among nonrookies, another Falcon, safety Ricardo Allen, got the biggest bonus from the collectively bargained pool, $342,712.
In addition, the players’ union is channeling $32 million in benefits to veterans. Oakland guard Gabe Jackson earned the top payout from that fund, $91,475. But Allen received $87,007 from that pool, giving him a combined distribution of $429,719, the highest for last season. Allen also earned $49,000 as a losing player’s share from the Super Bowl.
New England’s players received $97,000 for winning the NFL championship. Patriots center David Andrews, an undrafted free agent from the 2015 class in his second pro season, also got a $341,353 performance bonus and an $84,990 check from the NFLPA’s fund.
Baltimore linebacker Zachary Orr, who announced his retirement this year because of a congenital neck condition, earned $406,939 from the two compensation pools.
Players have been paid more than $1.2 billion cumulatively since the inception of the performance-based pay program as part of the 2002 labor agreement.
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