Teams usually don’t get into the Christmas spirit like the Eagles did last season with quarterback Nick Foles. A rib injury that knocked the Super Bowl LII MVP out in the fourth quarter of the regular season finale against the Redskins seemingly cost him a seasonal playtime bonus. He had an incentive of $1 million for playing 33 percent or more of the offensive snaps in the regular season and the Eagles making the playoffs. Foles came up just four plays short with 32.7 percent playtime (357 of 1,092 offensive snaps). The Eagles decided to honor the incentive anyway despite Foles technically not hitting the threshold.

Performance bonus can be divided into two basic categories: incentives and salary escalators. Both types of bonuses can be used to bridge the financial gap when there is a disagreement in a negotiation between a player’s agent and the team on the player’s value. Incentives are also a way for a player taking a pay cut to make back some or all of the money he is losing through the salary reduction.

Incentives are usually designed to be classified as not likely to be earned (NLTBE) so that they will not count against the salary cap when a deal is signed. Generally, any incentives with higher thresholds than the player or team’s statistical performance in the prior season qualify as NLTBE. The most frequent categories for individual achievement are playtime or based on the player’s primary function (i.e., receptions or receiving yards for a wide receiver). Coupling an individual achievement with a team statistical performance also makes an incentive NLTBE. If earned, a team will incur a salary cap charge for most incentives after the playoffs end. Incentives are typically paid in February or March following the season in which they are earned.

Per-game roster bonuses are treated as incentives under the salary cap even though they are calculated as a part of a contract’s base value. Because of this treatment, they weren’t given any consideration.

Incentives are preferable to escalators. Triggering an escalator doesn’t necessarily mean that the player will make the increased salary. The escalated amount is rarely guaranteed, so teams can still ask the player to take a pay cut or release him without incurring the financial obligation. Running back Adrian Peterson never got the $2 million increase of his 2017 salary from his 2012 and 2013 performance because the Vikings released him after the 2016 season.

There are entirely too many performance bonuses in NFL contracts to recognize them all. Here’s a look at 2019 performance bonuses for 25 noteworthy NFL players.

Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Maximum: $5 million
Expected bonus: $2.5 million

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ lack of confidence in 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen is great for Fitzpatrick’s wallet. The Dolphins plan on sticking with Fitzpatrick as the starter despite a 3-11 record.

Fitzpatrick’s $5.5 million 2020 base salary, of which $1.5 million is fully guaranteed, can increase to as much as $10.5 million. There are three ways for an increase to occur. The first increase is either $1 million for at least 55 percent offensive playtime, $2 million for at least 65 percent or $2.5 million for at least 75 percent. Fitzpatrick has taken 78.6 percent of Miami’s offensive snaps this season. The expected $2.5 million salary escalation for this clause is on a guaranteed basis, which is a rarity in the NFL contracts. $4 million of Fitzpatrick’s 2020 base salary will fully guarantee if he remains at or above the 75 percent playtime mark.

There’s another $1 million for at least 50 percent offensive playtime with Dolphins making the playoffs, which isn’t happening. The remaining $1.5 million is contingent on Fitzpatrick playing 50 percent or more on offense and the Dolphins ranking in the top 20 in touchdowns scored, completion percentage or sacks allowed. Miami has given up the most sacks and ranks 29th in both completion percentage and points scored.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Maximum: $1 million
Expected bonus: $320,000

The four-year, $134 million contract extension Rodgers signed in 2018, which made him the NFL’s highest-paid player, is worth up to $146 million thanks to salary escalators and incentives. Rodgers’ 2020 base salary escalates $100,000 with at least 72.5 percent offensive playtime during the 2019 regular season as long as the Packers make the playoffs. He gets an additional $120,000 with the same regular season playtime qualifier and 72.5 percent or more playtime in the divisional playoffs. It’s another $130,000 at those playtime thresholds for the NFC Championship Game. There’s an extra $150,000 for making the Super Bowl with the same playtime standards as before. Rodgers gets $100,000 each for top three in the NFL for the following categories with a minimum of 224 pass attempts and by taking 72.5 percent or more Green Bay’s offensive snaps during the season: (1) passer rating, (2) completion percentage, (3) interception percentage, (4) yards per pass and (5) touchdown passes.

Rodgers is assured of $100,000 because his offensive playtime is over 97 percent and the Packers have clinched a playoff spot. The only individual category where Rodgers ranks in the top five is interception percentage. His 0.4 percent is best in the league.

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill

Maximum: $5 million
Expected bonus: $3.425 million

Tannehill’s renegotiated contract that helped facilitate his trade from the Dolphins saw his 2019 compensation drop from $18.725 million to $7 million. The new deal allows for Tannehill to make as much as $12 million in 2019 while also deleting his 2020 contract year for taking the pay cut.

Tannehill should earn $1 million for his passer rating being at least 96.0 (minimum of 224 attempts). He is second in the NFL with a 114.6 rating. He didn’t start earning money for passing yards until he hit 2,250, which is worth $500,000. Tannehill has thrown for 2,272 yards this season. There’s another $250,000 for reaching 2,750 yards. Since Tannehill is averaging 266 passing yards in the eight games he has started, he stands a good chance of earning an additional $250,000. 3,000 or more passing yards is worth a total of $1 million.

Throwing 18 touchdown passes gets Tannehill $250,000. It’s a total of $500,000 for at least 20 touchdown passes, a total of $750,000 for reaching 23 and a total of $1 million if he hits 25. Tannehill is on track for 21 touchdown passes.

Tannehill earns $100,000 for each game he plays in at least 50 percent of Tennessee’s offensive plays provided the team improves in either points scored, touchdowns scored, total offensive yards, average net yards per passing play, average net yards per rushing play, sacks allowed or completions from the 2018 season. If the team component isn’t met, he can still earn the $100,000 with his own improvement from 2018 in passing yards, touchdown passes, passer rating, completion percentage, interception percentage or yards per pass attempt. A minimum of 224 pass attempts are necessary except with passing yards and touchdown passes. Tannehill has had a significant improvement in his passer rating and completion percentage this season. Barring an injury, Tannehill should hit the required thresholds in 10 games to make him another $1 million.

Tannehill also gets $25,000 for each game where he takes a minimum of 50 percent of the offensive snaps and the Titans win. Tannehill’s record as a starter so far is 6-2. Tough games remain against the Saints this week and a rematch with the Texans next week.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins

Maximum: $2 million
Expected bonus: None

Cousins will be rewarded if the Vikings can not only get to but finally win the Super Bowl in their fifth try. He has an incentive worth $500,000 for the Vikings winning the Super Bowl this season. The amount increases by $500,000 for a Super Bowl win and a top five ranking in points scored by the offense. The amount is $1.5 million with a top three ranking and a Super Bowl win. It’s $2 million for winning the Super Bowl, a top eight ranking and Cousins being named Super Bowl MVP.

The only way the Vikings miss the playoffs is losing to the Packers and Bears with the Rams winning out. Minnesota’s offense has scored the fourth most points so far this season.

Jets RB Le’Veon Bell

Maximum: $2.05 million
Expected bonus: None

The Jets aren’t getting bang for their buck with the four-year, $52.5 million contract Le’Veon Bell was given during offseason free agency. Bell has $1.5 million in annual incentives. He earns $500,000 for at least 1,800 yards from scrimmage (combined rushing and receiving yards). He gets additional $500,000 by reaching 2,000 scrimmage yards. There’s another $500,000 for the first threshold with the Jets making the playoffs. Bell also has a $550,000 base salary escalator in each of the last three years based on his performance in the preceding season. The three different ways to trigger the increase are getting 2,000 or more yards from scrimmage, being named the AP’s NFL Offensive Player of the Year or winning the AP’s MVP award. Bell has 1,080 scrimmage yards (676 rushing and 404 receiving) in the 13 games he has played this season.

Rams RB Todd Gurley

Maximum: $2.25 million
Expected bonus: None

Gurley’s 2023 base salary increased by $1 million to $6,449,978 because he got at least 1,200 rushing yards or 1,650 yards from scrimmage (combined rushing and receiving yards) in 2018. It won’t be happening again because Gurley isn’t coming close to either threshold this season. His 2023 salary would increase by another $1.25 million if named either NFL MVP or Offensive Player of the Year as well. Gurley isn’t in the running for either award.

Redskins RB Adrian Peterson

Maximum: $1.5 million
Expected bonus: None

Peterson needs 1,000 rushing yards with the Redskins improving its ranking in total offensive yards, points scored, touchdowns scored, average net yards per rushing play, sacks allowed or wins from 2018 to earn $500,000. The Redskins ranking must be 27th or better in the NFL. The team component doesn’t seem to be an issue since the Redskins were 18th with 4.3 yards per rushing play in 2018 and are currently 10th at 4.6 yards. Peterson needs 216 yards to close the season to hold up his end of the bargain.

There’s also $500,000 for hitting 1,000 rushing yards with the Redskins making the playoffs, which isn’t happening, Another $250,000 is predicated on Peterson having at least 10 rushing touchdowns and an additional $250,000 for doing it and going to the playoffs. Peterson has four rushing touchdowns this season.

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald

Maximum: $1 million
Expected bonus: $750,000

If Larry Fitzgerald decides to end his illustrious 16-year NFL career, he will be getting a nice parting gift from his contract. Fitzgerald has already earned $250,000 for reaching 23 catches this season. He makes $250,000 each for hitting 70 receptions, 700 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions. Fitzgerald is on pace for 77 catches, 813 receiving yards and three touchdown catches.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman

Maximum: $1 million
Expected bonus: $1 million

Edelman gets $500,000 for 80 receptions and another $500,000 once he hits the 90-catch mark, which he did last game. He has 92 catches for 1,019 yards and six touchdowns this season.

Seahwaks WR Tyler Lockett

Maximum: $2.4 million
Expected bonus: $2.2 million

Lockett is having a career year and will be rewarded for it. He is on track for 86 receptions for 1,136 yards and eight touchdowns. He’ll max out his $500,000 catch incentives with 85 receptions. He’s already at $400,000 for his 75 catches. Six more receiving yards to hit 1,000 for the first time in his career will earn him another $400,000. One more touchdown to get to eight is worth $200,000. Ten scores would raise the total to $300,000. Any incentives Lockett earns will also increase his 2020 base salary by the same amount. This means Lockett’s 2020 base salary should be $8.6 million instead of $7.5 million.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

Maximum: $1.5 million
Expected bonus: $750,000

Kelce’s $7.25 million 2020 base salary will escalate by $375,000 if gets another 69 receiving yards to reach 1,200. Twelve touchdown receptions would be worth another $375,000; Kelce has four this season. The final amount earned will double because the Chiefs have made the playoffs.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten

Maximum: $750,000
Expected bonus: $375,000

Witten signed a one-year, $4.25 million deal with $750,000 in upside to come out of the Monday Night Football broadcast booth to rejoin the Cowboys after a one-year hiatus. He earns $375,000 for reaching 55 catches and Dallas making the playoffs. Witten has 57 receptions this season. The other $375,000 requires 75 catches, which is a long shot, and a playoff berth. Dallas wins the NFC East and makes the playoffs by beating the Eagles on Sunday or with a win over the Redskins in the regular season finale while Philadelphia loses to the Giants.

Eagles C Jason Kelce

Maximum: $1.5 million
Expected bonus: $750,000

Travis Kelce isn’t the only one in his family getting a raise next year. His older brother’s 2020 base salary increases by $500,000 with at least 90 percent offense playtime this season. Kelce has only missed one of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps so far.

Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Maximum: $5.5 million
Expected bonus: $4 million

Pierre-Paul missed the first six games of the season because he sustained a neck injury in an offseason car accident. His contract was redone as he took a pay cut from $14.9 million to $5 million with $5.5 million in incentives.

Pierre-Paul gets $500,000 for eight sacks and another $1 million for reaching 10 sacks. He has 3.5 sacks in eight games this season. There’s also $200,000 for each game he participates in at least 50 percent of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps, with additional $200,000 for hitting 70 percent. Pierre-Paul has been above 70 percent in every game he has played this season.

Saints DE Cameron Jordan

Maximum: $1.25 million
Expected bonus: $750,000

Jordan’s 2020 base salary is going from $8.8 million to $9.05 million for reaching 13 sacks this season. Getting 1.5 sacks in the last two games for 15 would earn another $500,000 to make the total 2020 escalation $750,000. Seventeen sacks would be worth an additional $500,000.

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter

Maximum: $1 million
Expected bonus: $500,000

The five-year, $72 million extension with $40.007 million of guarantees Danielle Hunter signed in 2018 has left him underpaid. By playing out his rookie contract instead of taking the deal, Hunter would have been in a position to join the $20 million per year non-quarterback club this past offseason since he had a career year in 2018. His $1 million in annual base salary escalators for sacks is a small consolation.

Hunter’s 2020 base salary increased from $10.4 million to $10.9 million for hitting 13 sacks. It will increase by another $500,000 to $11.4 million if Hunter gets 1.5 sacks in the last two games to bring his total to 15. This $1 million sack escalator is in every year of his contract, which runs through the 2023 season.

Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus

Maximum: $2.5 million
Expected bonus: None

Dareus took a $2.5 million pay cut to $8.085 million in order to avoid being a salary cap casualty. He had a chance to make back the $2.5 million with at least 55 percent defensive playtime for the season. A core muscle injury that required surgery ended Dareus’ season after Jacksonville’s seventh game.

Buccaneers LB Shaquil Barrett

Maximum: $1 million
Expected bonus: $1 million

The $1 million in incentives Barrett has earned will be chump change compared to any long-term deal he signs in the offseason. Barrett is leading the NFL with 16.5 sacks. His contract calls for him to get $250,000 for reaching 45 percent defensive playtime and another $250,000 with at least 65 percent. Barrett has been on field for 81.1 percent of Tampa Bay’s defensive plays this season. He has a separate sacks incentive worth up to $500,000. He picked up $250,000 for getting eight sacks, which he did before the end of September. The other $250,000 came from getting 10 sacks.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Maximum: $3.5 million
Expected bonus: $1 million

Lee took a pay cut from $7 million to $3.5 million to stay in Dallas because he was supposed to take a back seat to young linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. His reworked contract allows for the opportunity to earn the $3.5 million back based on how much he plays in 2019. Lee gets $1 million for playing at least 50 percent of Dallas’ defensive snaps. Hitting 65 percent is worth another $1 million. There’s another $1 million with 80 percent or more defensive playtime. Earning the entire $3.5 million comes from Dallas making the playoffs with Lee hitting the 80 percent playtime mark. Lee has played more than expected because of injuries to Vander Esch; his defensive playtime is currently 54.6 percent.

Patriots LB Jamie Collins

Maximum: $3 million
Expected bonus: $1 million

The Patriots are getting tremendous value from Collins in his return to New England after two-and-a-half lackluster seasons with the Browns. He signed a one-year deal with a base value of $2 million deal after being released by the Browns in early March.

Collins has $2 million in playtime incentives. There’s $250,000 each at the 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent and 80 percent defensive playing time thresholds. He has $500,000 with at least 90 percent defensive playtime and another $500,000 for hitting 95 percent. Collins has a $500,000 incentive for making the Pro Bowl and an additional $500,000 for being first-team All-NFL.

Collins has taken 79.7 percent of New England’s defensive snaps through 14 games, and he isn’t going to earn the honors incentives.

Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower

Maximum: $2 million
Expected bonus: $1.125 million

Hightower earned $625,000 of his $2 million of yearly incentives in 2018, but he is going to exceed that amount this season. Hightower makes $375,000 for 65 percent or more defensive playtime, with an additional $250,000 for 70 percent. He gets another $250,000 for 75 percent or more playtime and $125,000 more for at least 80 percent of New England’s defensive snaps. Hightower’s defensive playtime is 68.6 percent through 14 games. He has a chance to reach 70 percent if he is in on roughly 80 percent of New England’s defensive plays during the final two contests. There is $500,000 for making the Pro Bowl and an additional $500,000 for being first-team All-NFL, which won’t be achieved.

Seahawks LB K.J. Wright

Maximum: $1.5 million
Expected bonus: $1.5 million

Wright’s 2020 base salary is going from $3.5 million to $5 million because of his defensive playtime this season. With 35 percent of the defensive snaps, Wright’s salary gets a $500,000 bump. Being on the field for 55 percent of Seattle defensive plays makes the escalation $1 million. Playing at least 80 percent on defense brings to increase to $1.5 million. Wright’s 93.7 percent defensive playtime is second on the Seahawks behind perennial All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Lions CB Darius Slay

Maximum: $550,000
Expected bonus: None

Slay needs two of the following three achievements to trigger a $550,000 2020 base salary escalator: (1) five or more interceptions, (2) 80 percent or more defensive playtime or (3) a Pro Bowl berth. While Slay has been named to the Pro Bowl for a third consecutive year, he is going miss out on earning the escalator for a third straight time unless he picks off three passes in Detroit’s last two games. The playtime component is an impossibility because he’s been on the field for 74.4 percent of Detroit’s defensive snaps in 2019. There’s no way he can get to 80 percent.

49ers CB Richard Sherman

Maximum: $4 million
Expected bonus: $1 million

Sherman is finally hitting paydirt this season with the $4 million of annual not-so-easily-achievable incentives in the three-year deal with a base value of $27.15 million he negotiated without an agent in 2018. He didn’t earn any of the incentives last year.

Sherman picked up $1 million for making the Pro Bowl. He’ll get an additional $2 million for being named first- or second-team All-NFL/All-Pro by the Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly, the Pro Football Writers Association, Sporting News or Sports Illustrated.

Making the Pro Bowl also triggered some favorable structural changes to Sherman’s contract. Sherman’s 2020 base salary is increasing by $1 million to $8 million, and an injury guarantee activates for that amount the day after Super Bowl LIV (Feb. 3, 2020). The $8 million becomes fully guaranteed less than two months later on April 1. His $2 million in 46-man per-game active roster bonuses ($125,000 per game) for 2020 reduces to $1 million with the increase in base salary.

Sherman also has $1 million for 90 percent or more defensive playing time. The hamstring injury that kept Sherman out of Week 15’s contest against the Falcons will likely cost him the playtime bonus. Sherman’s defensive playing time through 14 games is 85.5 percent. His playtime will be right around 88 percent if he doesn’t miss any of San Francisco’s remaining defensive snaps in the final two regular season games.

Vikings K Dan Bailey

Maximum: $1 million
Expected bonus: $1 million

Bailey has made 91.7 percent of his field goals attempts this season, and his percentage staying at least 90 percent would earn him $1 million. If it doesn’t drop below 87 percent, Bailey gets $750,000 instead. Keeping at it 85 percent or above is worth $500,000. It’s $250,000 by Bailey only converting 80 percent of his attempts for the season.

Pro Bowl Bonuses

Numerous NFL contracts contain Pro Bowl bonuses. In order to cash in on a Pro Bowl bonus, players must be selected on the original ballot and participate in the game unless they’re medically excused or playing in the Super Bowl. Getting into the game as an alternate doesn’t meet the requirements for payment.

In addition to Sherman and Hightower, seven other players have earned a Pro Bowl bonus this year. Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari going to Pro Bowl with Green Bay making the playoffs raises his 2020 base salary by $500,000 to $10.5 million. The Pro Bowl is profitable for two Eagles: tight end Zach Ertz’s 2020 and 2021 base salaries increase by $250,000, which also occurred with his 2017 and 2018 Pro Bowl selections; and offensive guard Brandon Brooks‘ 2020 base salary is going up by $250,000, just like last year as well.

Raiders center Rodney Hudson makes $100,000 for his Pro Bowl berth. Both punters, Brett Kern and Tress Way, earned an $100,000 incentive, the second straight year for Kern. Patriots special team ace Matthew Slater also earns $100,000.