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Mack Wilson earns performance bonus

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Browns rookie linebacker earned more than $400K in additional pay from NFL program.

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NFL: DEC 29 Browns at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson had an interesting rookie season.

A fifth-round selection from Alabama in the 2019 NFL Draft, Wilson moved into the starting lineup after linebacker Christian Kirksey suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2.

Wilson went on to start the final 14 games of the season, finishing the year with 82 tackles, one sack, one interception, a forced fumble and seven passes defended. For his efforts, Wilson was rewarded on Thursday with $415,335 through the NFL’s Performance-Based Pay Pool, the second-highest compensation handed out:

All told, the league handed out $147.952 million to NFL players for the 2019 season from a system created in 2002 to reward players who see an increase in playing time while working under a relatively inexpensive contract, according to al.com.

Wilson appears to be in line for more playing time this season after the Browns released veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey on Tuesday and are ready to let veteran linebacker Joe Schobert test his value in free agency. Whether or not that is a sound plan - given that Wilson only earned a grade of 42.9 from Pro Football Focus for his rookie year - remains to be seen.