The NFL has distributed its performance-based pay for the 2016 season, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott led all offensive players with a bonus of $353,544.57, according to a league source.
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole, an undrafted rookie, led all players with a bonus of $371,873.11, according to the source.
Each year, the NFL allocates a pool of money that is distributed evenly among the 32 teams, and players are compensated based on their playing time percentage relative to their salary for that season. Each team paid out a total of $3,995,000 for this past season.
Any player who plays during a team’s regular season is eligible to earn money from the performance-based pool, which was incorporated in 2002 as part of the league’s new labor agreement at the time.
The system rewards those who played a significant role relative to their base salary. Prescott, who made just $450,000 in base salary after being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, led Dallas to the NFC’s best record while throwing 23 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. The bonus nearly doubles Prescott’s base salary, bringing his total pay for the season to $823,873.11.
Poole emerged as an integral part of the Falcons defense after going undrafted out of Florida. He played in all 16 games for Atlanta, starting nine and recording 59 tackles to go along with a sack and an interception. He figures to remain a key part of the Falcons defense going forward, offering versatility as a nickel cornerback or starter on an as-needed basis.