According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.
If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.
Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:
Bengals: LB Nick Vigil
Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown
Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake
Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue
Lions: C Graham Glasgow
Saints: DT David Onyemata
Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave
Texans: DT D.J. Reader
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