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Several young New England Patriots players had to step into larger roles last season -- and they're about to be compensated for their efforts.
The NFL Management Council recently revealed eligible players' performance-based payouts for the 2020 season. You can read the NFL's complicated explainer on performance-based pay here, but the gist is that players who outperform their contracts get bonuses every year from a pool of money collectively bargained by the NFL Players' Association.
Since performance is based in part on playing time, young players on their rookie deals who become everyday starters often earn the largest bonuses.
That's certainly the case in New England, where seven players are receiving $300,000 or more in extra cash. Here's a look at that group:
OL Michael Onwenu
CB J.C. Jackson
WR Jakobi Meyers
EDGE Chase Winovich
TE Ryan Izzo
LB Ju'Whaun Bentley
FB Jakob Johnson
The payouts aren't insignificant, though: Onwenu earned just $610,000 in base salary as a rookie last season, so he'll nearly double that amount with this payout.As NFL Network's Mike Garafolo pointed out, players won't receive these payments until 2024 or later, as a result of last year's COVID-related salary negotiations.
New England's performance-based payouts for 2020 also are bigger than in years past: Center Ted Karras led the Patriots in 2019 with a $375,004 bonus.
That's not surprising considering the number of young players who saw more action last season in the Patriots' first campaign without Tom Brady in the Bill Belichick era.