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Vontaze Burfict earns top figure in 'Performance-Based Pay'

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict earned the top figure in the NFL's "Performance-Based Pay" program that compensates players for playing time based upon their salary levels, the NFL announced Wednesday.

Approximately $110.72 million of Performance-Based Pay will be distributed to players for their performance during the 2012 season. Burfict, a 2012 undrafted free agent from Arizona State, earned $299,465 in additional pay. As an undrafted free agent, Burfict played for the league's rookie minimum salary of $390,000 last year and an additional signing bonus of $1,000.

Players have been paid nearly $700 million cumulatively since the inception of the Performance-Based Pay program, which was implemented as part of the NFL's 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Under the Performance-Based Pay system, 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.

Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a "player index." To produce the index, a player's regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player's index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his pay.

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