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Updated: March 13th, 2013 11:23am
Vikings guard Brandon Fusco among NFL leaders in performance based pay

Vikings guard Brandon Fusco among NFL leaders in performance based pay

by Tom Pelissero
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Brandon Fusco made himself an extra quarter-million dollars just by being on the field for the Minnesota Vikings last season.

The NFL management council on Tuesday sent out 2012 performance based pay distributions, which are determined by playing time relative to a player's compensation. In other words, if you have a low salary and play a lot of snaps, you'll get more from the PBP pool.

The league pool is $3.46 million per club. Fusco gets the biggest check ($250,856) among the Vikings -- and 16th in the NFL -- because he made only $465,000 last season but played 64.12% of the regular-season snaps, according to sources with access to the numbers.

Other Vikings who cracked six figures in performance-based pay were: safety Jamarca Sanford ($184,397), linebacker Jasper Brinkley ($181,249), cornerback Josh Robinson ($177,075), tight end Rhett Ellison ($170,654), cornerback A.J. Jefferson ($161,411), tackle Phil Loadholt ($158,954), end Everson Griffen ($135,532), tight end Kyle Rudolph ($120,476), defensive tackle Christian Ballard ($120,356), safety Harrison Smith ($111,608), safety Mistral Raymond ($110,298) and fullback Jerome Felton ($101,980).

Everyone who saw the field gets a check, down to backup quarterback Joe Webb, who gets $697 for playing three snaps in garbage time.

Performance based pay last was awarded in 2009, the last capped year under the old collective-bargaining agreement. That year, Vikings center John Sullivan led the NFL with PBP of $397,555.

NFL's top 20 in performance based pay for 2012

Cincinnati MLB Vontaze Burfict $299,465
Philadelphia G Dallas Reynolds $294,844
New Orleans C Brian De La Puente $289,373
Arizona T Bobby Massie $283,776
Chicago T J'Marcus Webb $275,360
Arizona OLB Sam Acho $273,715
San Francisco FB Bruce Miller $273,426
Pittsburgh T Max Starks $272,590
Atlanta CB Robert McClain $269,505
New York Jets T Austin Howard $259,645
Miami FS Reshad Jones $256,612
Carolina T Byron Bell $255,547
Indianapolis ILB Jerrell Freeman $255,018
Atlanta C Todd McClure $251,204
Vikings G Brandon Fusco $250,856
Denver CB Chris Harris $250,625
Seattle CB Richard Sherman $249,201
St. Louis C Robert Turner $248,067
Oakland OLB Miles Burris $243,048
Carolina CB Josh Norman $242,475

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero