Despite rushing for 1,037 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns on an undrafted rookie minimum contract, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay surprisingly didn’t crack the top 25 of the league’s performance-based bonus program this week, even though his play was among the best in the league.  

Lindsay received an extra $201,519 on top of his league-minimum base pay of $473,112.

Lindsay was the only undrafted rookie to score a Pro Bowl nod, finishing ninth overall in rushing despite missing one game last season.

He was also the highest yard per carry rusers among the 1000 yard rushers, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.


Blame the league’s algorithm for performance bonuses, which doles out salary bumps based on the size of a player’s contract versus the percentage of available snaps they play.

By all accounts, it’s an equitable program, allocating slightly more than $4.4 million per team to dole out among everyone who plays a snap. Unfortunately, the program doesn’t take into account the quality of those snaps. Which means a guy like Lindsay – who was undrafted out of Colorado but played roughly 34 percent of the Broncos’ snaps available to him – can be remarkably underpaid and remarkably impactful in his performance but not get fully recognized for it.It’s a weird loophole that has no remedy for some lowly paid high achievers, barring some kind of Pro Bowl or All-Pro bonus for those who achieve such an honor while failing to gobble up snaps and also falling below a certain salary line.Lindsay didn’t even earn the Broncos’ top bonus bump. That honor went to guard Connor McGovern, who started 15 games and was awarded with a $300,952 salary adjustment. That landed McGovern 20th on the list of bonus payouts. The top spot this year was taken by Baltimore Ravens center Matt Skura, who started all 16 games this season and got a bump of $395,660 added to his base pay of $555,000.

Lindsay didn’t get as much as he probably should have, but he was an undrafted rookie, and if he keeps playing like he did last year, a pay day will surely be in his immediate future. 

Still a nice chunk of change for a guy that young. 

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