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Donovan Peoples-Jones gets huge ‘Performance-Based Pay’ bonus from 2022 season

The “Performance-Based Pay” rewarded the Browns receiver for playing time last year

Cleveland Browns v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

As NFL free agency rages on, or more appropriately rolls on like a slow-moving babbling brook, the Cleveland Browns have made a number of moves to improve their defense while retaining Ethan Pocic as their starting center on offense.

One move that many are wondering about is whether the team will add another receiver to their mix. Amari Cooper was a big addition last year with Donovan Peoples-Jones playing the second receiver role well.

Finding a third receiver is still something fans and media would like to see. Whether the Browns value that as much is yet to be determined.

While Cooper has been well-paid throughout his career, as a sixth-round selection Peoples-Jones is still waiting for that to happen. He is scheduled for free agency at the end of the 2023 NFL season unless Cleveland gets an extension done with him before then. In 2022, DPJ earned just under $900,000.

Until now.

The NFL announced the top 25 players who earned performance-based based distributions for 2022. PBP is described by the league as:

Under the Performance-Based Pay program, 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. In general, players with higher playtime percentages and lower salaries benefit most from the pool.

Last year, Peoples-Jones got the 11th largest bonus in the NFL at $717,642. Marcus Epps of the Philadelphia Eagles topped the list with $880,354.

The bonuses do not impact teams’ salary cap numbers at all. The NFL and NFLPA wanted to put in place a way to benefit underpaid players, especially those on rookie contracts or veterans generally later in their careers.