Cleveland Browns ILB Christian Kirksey was already a beneficiary of a proven performance escalator to boost his 2017 base salary, and today, the NFL announced that he’s taking home some extra cash on top of that.
The NFL released some financial numbers from the 2016 season for its performance-based pay program. The program is designed to reward players who do not have a high salary (such as undrafted free agents or low draft picks), but receive a lot of playing time.
There are two separate pools -- a regular one and a veteran one — and the Top 25 earners in each pool were announced by the NFL. Kirksey was the 7th-highest paid player in the league under the veteran pool, receiving a bonus of $84,154.17.
The additional money does not count against the NFL salary-cap limit. There are surely other players on Cleveland who received bonuses; the last time we received data on the full payouts came in 2013, where you can see a long list of players. Unfortunately, for this past season, we only have the Top 25 lists to go off of.
Multiple reports also suggest that Cleveland is trying to work out a contract extension with Kirksey.