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Dan Moore Jr. tops the Steelers performance-based pay for 2022

On Monday, The NFL announced the top 25 players who received the most performance-based pay for the 2023 season. For the second-straight year, Dan Moore Jr. has landed on the list.

For those who are not familiar with this payout, the NFL’s performance-based pay happens in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is designed to compensate players based upon their playing time and salary levels. If a player is participating in a high amount of the team’s snap count while on a low salary, the program is designed to help supplement their income.

So exactly how does this payout work? The following is the explanation as to how the system works as released last year from NFL communications:

Under the Performance-Based Pay program, 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. In general, players with higher playtime percentages and lower salaries benefit most from the pool.

Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a player index (“Index”). To produce the Index, a player’s “PBP Playtime” (defined as the player’s regular season total plays played on offense, defense and special teams, divided by the number of plays of the player with the most total combined plays on that team) is divided by his “PBP Compensation” (defined as regular season full 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 Performance-Based Pay. If a player’s base salary is less than the Minimum Salary of a player with seven or more Credited Seasons, then player’s base salary will be imputed to be equal to the Minimum Salary of a player with seven or more Credited Seasons (i.e., $1.120M for the 2022 season). By imputing a minimum salary of $1.120 million, a slightly higher percentage of the pool is directed to high-performing veteran players whose salaries exceed $1.120 million, but are not among the highest in the league, as contemplated by the formula. This imputation of salary is solely for the purpose of calculating distributions from the pool and does not affect the actual salary paid to the player under his contract.

Although this explanation can offer some help in understanding performance-based pay, it can still be a bit confusing. The biggest thing to remember is the more snaps a player is on the field, and the lower the salary a player makes, the more money they are eligible for in this program. It should also be noted that the money set aside in this program is divided evenly among 32 teams where, for 2023, more than $12 million per team was handed out. So even though players who were on the field a significant amount for the Steelers and have a low salary, such as running back Jaylen Warren, are not on this list, they simply did not earn more than $740,000 for the season.

Coming in 23rd of the list with a payout of $740,319, Dan Moore actually was much higher on the list in 2022. Making slightly more money this season, Moore was ninth last season and two spots behind his teammate at the time in Kevin Dotson.

Although Steelers fans will likely roll her eyes once again this season over Dan Moore being paid more based on his performance (or think this announcement has something to do with the date), it is simply due to the number of snaps he played this year compared to his salary. Logging 953 offensive snaps and 55 special team snaps during the regular season, Moore was one of only four players who logged over 1,000 combined regular-season snaps in 2023 along with Mason Cole, Isaac Seumalo, and Patrick Peterson. Based on the sheer volume of snaps he played, as well as being on a rookie contract, it put Moore in the driver seat for receiving the most from this program of any Steelers player in 2023.



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