Baltimore rookie safety Dawan Landry earned US$366,017 in performance-based pay for 2006, the most of any NFL player.
On Tuesday, the NFL released a list of the top 25 players who received the bonuses as part of the collective bargaining agreement. The system creates a supplemental fund for player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary.
Landry, a fifth-round pick of the Ravens (146th overall) in last year's draft, earned a base salary of $275,000. He quickly became a starter and earned one vote for defensive rookie of the year.
"The performance-based pay system is especially beneficial to lower-salaried players," NFL executive vice-president of labour relations Harold Henderson said. "Under this system, if a player is making the minimum but plays in a high percentage of his teams plays, he stands to get a larger payout than a teammate with equal play time but a higher salary."