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Vontaze Burfict tops all NFL players in performance-based pay

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE

Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE

The formula for performance-based pay in the NFL rewards players with the lowest salaries who get the most playing time. And no one fit that bill better in 2012 than Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

As an undrafted free agent, Burfict played for the rookie league minimum salary of $390,000 last year. (He also got a $1,000 signing bonus.) And as a starter and every-down player, Burfict got a whole lot of playing time.

So it’s no surprise, via Yahoo Sports, that Burfict got the highest performance-based pay bonus of any player in the NFL, a whopping $299,465.

So Burfict was rewarded, as he should have been, for a great rookie season. Burfict has come a long way since the days when he was complaining that Mike Mayock had hurt his feelings by calling him a “non-draftable kid.”