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Brian Poole tops NFL in performance-based pay

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The Atlanta Falcons got a lot out of their rookie cornerback, and he’ll be rewarded for that performance.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons got a remarkable amount of good work out of a pair of unlikely cornerbacks. The first was C.J. Goodwin, a converted wide receiver who wound up having a nice year as a cornerback and special teamer for Atlanta. The other was Brian Poole, one of the more impressive nickel backs in the NFL.

It’s difficult to argue against the notion that Poole deserved every penny. He was basically the team’s full-time nickel cornerback in 2016, and while he had his lapses in coverage along the way, he was insanely good for a UDFA making the leap to the NFL. He was also easily the team’s most physical cornerback from wire-to-wire.

Poole’s 2017 fortunes are uncertain on a pretty loaded depth chart—he could be an option at safety with his physicality, or he may draw snaps as the team’s fourth cornerback—but he was a revelation as a rookie. Wherever he plays, he should fare well, and hopefully a little more flush with cash.