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Paul Worrilow near top of NFL for performance-based pay

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Paul Worrilow's hard work literally paid off in 2014, as he was 10th in the league in earnings from the Performance-Based Pay program.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The main reason Paul Worrilow is a fan favorite is because he's an unlikely success story, a guy who came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Delaware and through hard work and sheer will turned himself into a starter, a leader, and a key defensive player.

Worrilow's hard work has paid off quite literally, as the total amount of money he earned in the 2014 season from the NFL's Performance-Based Pay system places him near the top of the league.

The Performance-Based Pay program was implemented with the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement and was continued with the most recent version, and it provides the promise of equitable compensation for players whose salaries toward the low end of the NFL spectrum but who spend a lot of time on the field. A fund is created to supplement the income of players whose snap counts don't necessarily align with their contract pay.

Performance-Based Pay is paid from a fund that each team establishes each league year. Every player on each team competes against their teammates for a share of the fund, and every player who plays at least one down in that season is eligible for a distribution. To determine the players who will receive a bonus from this fund, teams take a player's total snaps on offense, defense and special teams, dividing that number by the player's adjusted regular-season compensation, including salary, prorated signing bonus, and any incentives the player has earned. The result gives teams easily comparable numbers with which they can establish an index ranking players' compensation related to their snap count.

For the Falcons, Paul Worrilow earned a $287,413 bonus for the 2014 season, placing him 10th in the league for this compensation. To give you a comparison, Worrilow's index number, dividing his salary plus prorated signing bonus of $495,666 by his number of snaps last season, 1102, is 0.0022. Comparatively, Tyson Jackson's salary and signing bonus, $3,100,000, divided by his total number of snaps last season, 525, comes to 0.00017. The larger the index number, the more disparate the player's compensation is compared to his playing time.

Worrilow's role under Dan Quinn remains to be seen, but for his effort and playing time in 2014, this is a well-earned bonus for a hardworking young player.

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