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Russell Bodine among Bengals to earn performance and veteran-based NFL bonus

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Bodine brought in almost $400,000 in bonuses this year. Other Bengals including AJ McCarron, C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Kroft and Josh Shaw also netted some extra cash based on their playing time.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals center Russell Bodine once again earned the Bengals' top figure in the NFL’s Performance-Based Pay program that compensates players for playing time based upon their salary levels.

Bodine received $314,040 in PBP, which was the 12th most of any NFL player from the 2016 season. The enigmatic center has been a full-time starter ever since Cincinnati drafted him in the fourth round out of North Carolina in 2014. He’s been the team’s top PBP earner every year since.

This year, the NFL Players Association elected to dedicate $32 million in benefits (i.e., $1 million per club) to fund a Veteran Performance-Based Compensation Pool (the "Veteran Pool") for players with more than one Accrued Season. In total, $159.84 million is being disbursed to players under the combined pools.

That allowed Bodine to get an extra $85,122 in VPB, which brings his bonus total to $399,162, the fifth most any NFL player made. No other Bengal was among the top 25 NFL earners in PBP or VBP bonuses, but a few others did receive compensation.

Josh Shaw, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Kroft, C.J. Uzomah and AJ McCarron were among the other Bengals to receive bonuses this year.

Per Katherine Terrell of ESPN:

Josh Shaw earned $272,860. Tyler Boyd earned $203,615. Tyler Kroft received $176,389 and C.J. Uzomah received $174,794. 15 players received bonuses of at least 100,000. Smallest bonus was A.J. McCarron. His two snaps earned him $656. Payouts are based on playtime and salary. These are bonuses and do not impact the salary cap. Every player who plays at least one official down is eligible for a bonus.

The NFL PBP program was implemented as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, and continues as part of the parties’ current agreement.

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.

PBP 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.

The Veteran Pool is a component of the Rookie Redistribution Fund, which is a player benefit that was created under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The NFL Players Association elected to fund the Veteran Pool for the first time this past year.

The Veteran Pool is computed in a similar manner, with two significant modifications: 1) Players with zero accrued seasons are not eligible to receive distributions; 2) to calculate the eligible player's Index, if the player's full season base salary is less than $1 million, an additional amount will be imputed so that the player's base salary equals $1 million. This imputation of salary is solely for the purpose of calculating distributions from the pool, and does not affect the actual salary paid to the player.

It’s important to keep in mind, these bonuses are for quantity of playing time, not quality.

Here’s an example from the NFL of how the payouts work for each team: