Quarterback Matt Cassel topped the Patriots' earners in performance-based pay in 2008. Cassel, who enjoyed a remarkable rise from backup to franchise player, earned an additional $238,160 as part of the program.
The $238,160 was the 29th highest figure among NFL players.
Performance-based pay was created as part of the NFLís 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement extension with the NFL Players Association. The system creates a fund used to supplement player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary.
Players become eligible to receive performance-based pay in any regular season in which they play at least one official down.
That explains why quarterback Tom Brady pocketed $121 as part of the program in 2008.