A note out of the owners’ meetings in Phoenix. The NFL has announced its 2012 Performance-Based Pay distributions, and one Jet made it into the top 10 with his bonus: right tackle Austin Howard, whose league bonus was a cool $261,431.
Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict was the chart-topper with his $299,465 bonus in the NFL program that compensates players for playing time based on their salary levels. About $110.72 million will be distributed to players for their performance during last season.
Players have been paid nearly $700 million cumulatively since the inception of the Performance-Based Pay program, which was implemented as part of the NFL’s 2002 CBA with the NFL Players Association. The pool returns this year after not being in effect for the 2010 and ’11 league years.
Under the system, a fund is created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary. Players become eligible to receive a bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down.
Performance-Based 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.
Unofficially, Howard participated in 1,073 of the Jets’ 1,074 offensive plays, missing his one play in the 29-26 overtime loss at New England in October. With his special teams work added in, he was in for 1,132 plays, the most by an offensive player on the Jets last season and second-most on the team behind LB David Harris’ 1,196 plays.
New Rules in the Books
The NFL passed six new rules for the coming season, with several worth noting here. The famous or infamous Tuck Rule, depending on your rooting interests, is no more, or at least has been modified so that when a passer loses the ball as he brings it back toward his body, it is now a fumble rather than an incompletion. Reportedly the rule passed, 29-1, with Pittsburgh the only team voting in favor of keeping the old Tuck Rule and New England and Washington abstaining.
Another rule that has drawn attention is the restrictions placed on ballcarriers and defensive players regarding forcible contact with the crown of the helmet. A number of current and former players have voiced some concerns and criticisms of this rule, but Jeff Fisher, Rams head coach and competition committee member, said after a 15-minute conversation with Eddie George, his former power back on the Titans, George changed his mind and said he would be in favor of that.
New Jets RB Mike Goodson also agreed. On his conference call with Jets reporters this afternoon, he said about striking a defender with the crown of the helmet, “I never thought you were supposed to do that anyway, so that probably won’t affect me that much.”
Tags: Austin Howard, Jeff Fisher, Mike Goodson, Performance-Based Pay, Vontaze Burfict
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