The NFL and its players union have been on a collision course recently, but one issue has remained relatively untouched: incentives. The relationship between the league’s owners and players was always contentious; now that both sides seem to be inching closer to shutting down negotiations over it seems like an appropriate time for this article. What are some of the biggest issues with incentives? And what lessons can other sports learn from their mistakes?
The “nfl player performance bonus 2021” is a term that has been used to describe the NFL players who have cashed in (or fallen short) with incentives. These incentives can be anything from playing time to pay, and they are usually offered by teams or the league.
If you believe money doesn’t matter, tell that to Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Dawuane Smoot, who had money riding on his performance in the last game of the 2021 regular season.
And following a message from his wife, Aumari, Smoot won $250,000 in incentives for his sixth sack of the season in Jacksonville’s surprise victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
“If I don’t get the sack, she warned me not to come home,” Smoot told reporters in Jacksonville. “As a result, I’m returning home.”
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He also joked that the bonus would be enough to purchase them a lifetime supply of diapers for their second kid, whom Smoot assisted in the delivery of last October.
If winning is important in the NFL, money isn’t far behind. And for certain athletes, the manner they finished the 2021 season earned them additional money.
Some of the rewards were depending on the amount of time they spent playing. Others were dependent on their performance.
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This season, the sturdy left tackle has already earned $3.5 million for eclipsing 65 percent of snaps (he participated in 85 percent) and helping Los Angeles reach the playoffs. If the Rams defeat Arizona on Monday night (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC), he may earn another $500,000, and another $500,000 if the Rams win the Super Bowl.
Players that didn’t make the cut:
Antonio Brown, a free agency wide receiver, was denied almost $1 million in incentives after failing to accomplish 50 receptions, 600 yards, and five touchdowns. He would have received $333,333 for each of those marks. He has 42 receptions for 545 yards and four touchdowns on the season.
By failing to achieve five sacks, Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. lost out on a $1 million bonus. He didn’t get one on Sunday and ended up with a 4.5.
Outside linebacker Justin Houston of the Ravens was unable to unlock up to $2 million in incentives after failing to achieve six sacks (he had 4.5 after failing to earn one against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday).
Because the New Orleans Saints failed to reach the playoffs, safety Malcolm Jenkins lost out on a chance to earn $500,000.
Because he didn’t earn a sack on Sunday, Chris Jones lost out on a $1.25 million bonus, but the Chiefs won, which was enough for Jones to rejoice. David Zalubowski/AP Photo
Chris Jones, a defensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs, needs 10 sacks to earn $1.25 million. He ended with nine after going without a catch against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Outside linebacker Haason Reddick of the Carolina Panthers lost out on a total of $2 million in incentives, including $1 million for failing to achieve 13 sacks (he ended with 11 after not earning any against the Buccaneers on Sunday) and another $1 million for skipping the Pro Bowl.
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The “where is rob gronkowski from” is a question that many people have been asking for years. The NFL has a list of players who cashed in (or fell short) with incentives.
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