As expected, Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Matt Feiler qualified last season for extra pay under the NFL’s “Performance Based Pay” program that compensates players for playing time based upon their salary levels. The league indicates that Feiler earned an extra $387,578 in performance-based pay for 2019.
I originally wrote about the NFL’s “Performance Based Pay” program after the 2015 season ended and it case you missed that, here is a small recap of why the Feiler received the extra pay.
According to the league, performance-based-pay is a fund that was 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 potion of the bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down. The pay is reportedly computed by using a “player index.” To produce that 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.
Feiler also reportedly earned $236,004 from the veteran pool for 2019, bringing his total in bonuses from the programs to $623,582.
After entering the NFL with the Houston Texans in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of Bloomsburg, Feiler spent his rookie season on their practice squad. After failing to make the Texans 2015 53-man roster, Feiler was signed to the Steelers practice squad that September and remained on that unit the entire season.
In 2016, Feiler bounced from the Steelers practice squad to the 53-man roster a few times. The last three seasons, however, Feiler has been a fixture on the Steelers 53-man roster and has been the team’s starting right tackle since Week 8 of the 2018 season. He did start one game at left guard during the 2019 season, however.
Feiler earned $645,000 in base salary 2019 as a tendered exclusive rights free agent and is currently set to become a restricted free agent at the start of the new league year on March 18. The Steelers are expected to restricted tender at a second-round level prior to the start of the new league year. Speculation is that Feiler might move to left guard for the 2020 season should both Ramon Foster and B.J. Finney not be retained this offseason.
In case you’re curious, the extra money does not count against the Steelers salary cap as it is considered a benefit.