Tom Dahlin/Viking Update

NFL Performance Pay Program hits big for five Minnesota Vikings

Five Minnesota Vikings cashed in through an NFL program aimed at compensating underpaid players.

Every season, the NFL finds a way to reward players who "outplayed" their contracts. Teams allocate almost $4 million for the program and the Minnesota Vikings had five players who brought home more than $200,000 in performance-based pay (PBP) bonuses.

The program is designed to pay the most money to players who were Day 3 draft picks playing under rookie contracts that over-performed for the money they were paid.

That explains why fourth-round rookie QB Dak Prescott of the Cowboys and Falcons cornerback Brian Poole, an undrafted rookie, were atop the leader board. Poole led the way with $371,873.11 under the formula used to disburse the payments to players. Prescott wasn’t far behind, almost doubling his salary by being paid $353,544.57 in PBP money.

No Minnesota Vikings reached that high of payout totals, but they did have a handful of players pocket more than $200,000 for outplaying their contracts signed as late-round rookies.

Not surprisingly, wide receiver Adam Thielen led the list, being awarded an additional $273,091.32 after becoming a key to the Vikings’ new-look pass offense under Sam Bradford.

Although the Vikings’ offensive line was in shambles in 2016, two of their linemen finished second and third in terms of PBP payouts. Offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings took home an additional $264,959.40 and backup-turned-starting tackle Jeremiah Sirles pocketed an additional $253,540.46.

Thielen was the only Vikings wide receiver to cash in. Stefon Diggs cashed in for an extra $224,226.24.

Of the $200,000 Club, only one player came from the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen earned an additional $204,221.78.

It may be almost three months since Christmas, but a lot of players got unexpected presents from the league – and none of them were offended that their presents were in the form of cash.


  • Tight end Jared Cook’s visit with the Vikings ended Wednesday night without a deal yet being struck. His next stop is expected to be with the Oakland Raiders.
  • Fullback Zach Line, another Vikings free agent who has yet to be re-signed, visited with the New York Jets this week.
  • Add Andre Smith to the growing list of former Vikings. He signed a one-year deal to return to the Bengals.
  • The NFL Players Association is meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. this week and one of the primary topics of discussion is going to be whether or not the union takes a hard stance on marijuana being removed from the league’s substance abuse policy.
  • In an interview that is scheduled to be aired on the PFTLive broadcast today, Vikings guard Alex Boone shot back at comments made by the father of Adrian Peterson about the Vikings offensive line – putting down Minnesota’s O-line while praising the O-line in Oakland, where Peterson is slated to have a free agent visit.
  • From the “We’ve Heard This One Before” Department, representatives for former Viking Percy Harvin say he is retired … this time for good. Harvin retired last year, but came back to play for Buffalo at midseason. But, soon after arriving, he started suffering the migraine headaches that plagued him throughout his career.

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