Donald Penn, linemen rake in bonus pay
The NFL annually rewards players with extra cash based on a formula that takes into account their playing time and compensation. It's designed to benefit players whose performances are not congruent to their salaries.
We've obtained some highlights of this year's figures, and here's a sampling.
LT Donald Penn might not be getting the long-term contract he is seeking, but he earned a nice boost of $310,919 through the so-called performance-based pay system. That's the most of any Bucs player this season. Penn earned $445,000 in 2008. An interesting fact is that four of the team's offensive linemen ranked in its top 10.
RT Jeremy Trueblood was third with $185,113; G Arron Sears was seventh with $128,340; and G/C Jeremy Zuttah was ninth at $113,209. It could be argued that some of the team's linemen are perhaps underpaid. At the very least, this is confirmation the Bucs are enjoying several bargains at the position considering the performances relative to pay.
FS Tanard Jackson, the NFL's fifth-highest recipient last year, ranked second on the team with $285,427. WR Antonio Bryant, who outplayed his veteran minimum of $605,000 with 1,248 yards, earned $154,813. Others of note include undrafted free agents Elbert Mack ($80,359) and Clifton Smith (64,808).
The league set aside about $3.3-million per team for the program. The money comes from league revenues.