Lions' youngsters get big salary boosts as NFL awards performance-based pay bonuses

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Baked into the NFL's collective bargaining agreement is a $336 million fund, divided evenly the league's 32 teams, which compensates players based on their playing time and salary.

The "performance-based pool" is designed to reward players on lower-cost contracts who logged large workloads the previous season. Regardless of any other factor, every player who was on the field for at least one snap receives a fraction of the team's $10.5 million pool.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) runs with the ball after catching a pass.

For the Detroit Lions, 76 players received bonus checks as part of the pool, led by rookie safety Kerby Joseph, who netted a $523,538 bonus, to defensive back Saivion Smith's getting $1,186 for playing just two snaps before suffering a season-ending neck injury. For Joseph, that bonus was nearly three-quarters his $705,000 salary last season.

Here are are the top-10 bonus amounts for Lions players, as well as the number of combined offensive, defensive and special teams snaps each played:

▶ Safety Kerby Joseph, 1,408 snaps, $523,538

▶ Tight end Brock Wright, 762, $451,678

▶ Guard Jonah Jackson, 918 snaps, $441,996

▶ Defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs, 758, $434,816

▶ Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, 835, $421,923

▶ Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, 685, $389,914

▶ Defensive tackle Alim McNeill, 784, $366,610

▶ Cornerback Jerry Jacobs, 619, $366,440.

▶ Safety DeShon Elliott, 889, $355,978

▶ Defensive lineman John Cominsky, 610, $327,154

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers