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NFL Player Contract Incentives on the Line in Week 18

Last Updated: January 3, 2024
The final games of the 2023 regular season are about more than just playoff seeding. Boardroom breaks down the NFL players with contract incentives on the line.

Christmas has come and gone, which means the beginning of contract incentive season in the NFL. With a week left in the regular season, the Denver Broncos got us started off with a bang just ahead of Week 17.

While quarterback Russell Wilson has had a resurgent season under center, among the league’s top 10 in touchdowns and passer rating, the Broncos’ offense still remains below average as they’ve now missed the playoffs for an eighth straight season. Wilson is guaranteed $39 million for 2024 but would be owed an additional $37 million if he can’t pass a physical in March.

Not wanting to risk a long-term injury for Wilson that would be dangeRuss (sorry) for Denver’s bottom line, the 35-year-old will be benched for the remainder of the season in favor of Jared Stidham. Numerous reports suggest Wilson will not be a member of the Denver organization following this season, marking the beginning of the end of a disastrous tenure for Wilson in Colorado, whose trade from Seattle could be one of the worst gambles in league history.

Below, we’ll highlight the most interesting potential contract incentives in the NFL to be hit this season rather than focus on next year’s vesting options. Some include big paydays for playoff appearances. But for some, while their postseason hopes may be dashed, their opportunities to lock six and seven-figure raises are very much alive.

All numbers via The 33rd Team.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mayfield has played every snap for the Bucs this season, who are now -250 to make the playoffs at FanDuel SportsBook. The following are the incentives he needs to meet to make an additional $4.5 million:

  • 66% of the team’s offensive snaps: $500,000
  • 75% of offensive snaps: An additional $250,000
  • 85% of offensive snaps: An additional $250,000
  • Finishes 2023 regular season ranked Top 10 in the NFL or Top 5 in the conference: passer rating, TD passes, total yards passing, completion percentage, yards per pass ($300,000 each)
  • 66% of offensive snaps, plus team makes playoffs: $1 million
  • 75% of offensive snaps, plus team makes playoffs: An additional $500,000
  • 85% of offensive snaps, plus team makes playoffs: An additional $500,000
  • 75% of offensive snaps, plus 75% of playoff game snaps: $250,000 per playoff game

Baker also has a chance to rack up those statistical incentives with a game at Carolina to close out the regular season.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Baltimore Ravens

OBJ’s one-year, $15 million comeback contract with $13.835 million guaranteed has already earned him an extra $1 million for 30 receptions, 250 and 500 yards receiving, and three touchdowns. Here’s what else he can achieve:

  • 40 receptions: $250,000
  • 50 receptions: An additional $250,000
  • 60 receptions or leads team: An additional $250,000
  • 750 yards receiving: $250,000
  • 1,000 yards receiving or leads team: An additional $250,000
  • 5 TDs: $250,000
  • 7 TDs: An additional $250,000
  • 9 TDs or leads the team: An additional $250,000

He needs five receptions for 40 and two TDs for five, with Baltimore hosting Pittsburgh to close it out.

Gardner Minshew, QB, Indianapolis Colts

When first-round pick Anthony Richardson underwent season-ending surgery after Week 5, Minshew Mania truly arrived in Indy. The Colts are somehow 8-7, with +110 odds to make the playoffs with home games against Las Vegas and Houston remaining. If Minshew stays healthy, he’s on pace for an extra $2 million on top of his fully guaranteed one-year, $3.5 million contract.

  • 30% of offensive snaps: $500,000
  • 40% of offensive snaps: An additional $500,000
  • 50% of offensive snaps: An additional $500,000
  • 60% of offensive snaps: An additional $500,000

Devin Singletary, RB, Houston Texans

Singletary left Buffalo for a one-year, $2.75 million deal with Houston, $2.5 million of which is guaranteed. Last week against the Titans, the 26-year-old pocketed an extra $125,000 by eclipsing 1,000 total scrimmage yards for the season. With a game at Indianapolis remaining, the back sits at 1,026 yards rushing and receiving and played in 54% of the Texans’ snaps. Singletary will need a big game if he wants to earn himself an extra $375K going into free agency.

  • 50% of Texans’ offensive snaps: $125,000
  • 55% of offensive snaps: $125,000
  • 66% of offensive snaps: $250,000
  • 1,000 total yards: $125,000
  • 1,100 total yards: $125,000
  • 1,200 total yards: $250,000

Bobby Wagner, LB, Seattle Seahawks

After a season with the Los Angeles Rams, Wagner returned to Seattle, where he spent the first 10 years of his standout career, helped lead the franchise to its only Super Bowl title, and was a six-time first-team All-Pro.

The one-year, $5.5 million fully guaranteed contract could be boosted by an additional $1.5 million in incentive pay. To unlock the boost, Wagner needs to play more than 75% of the defensive snaps (currently, he’s played 98%, so that seems locked in), and the team needs to win the division. Given the 49ers’ success, the latter is out of reach. However, if Wagner earns an unexpected spot on the All-Pro first team, he’s eligible for an additional $750,000. 

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Additional highlights

  • Houston’s tight end Dalton Schultz (54 catches, 593 yards) will receive $250,000 each if he reaches 700 yards receiving and 60 receptions.
  • Minnesota running back Alexander Mattison needs 74 rushing yards in his last game to reach 750 and an extra $250,000.
  • Atlanta defensive end Calais Campbell’s 1.5 sacks in Week 16 got him to 5.5 and an extra $500,000. He can earn an extra $500,000 with 2.5 more sacks in Week 18.
  • Bud Dupree, Campbell’s fellow Atlanta defensive end, has 5.5 sacks on the season. If he gets to seven, that’s an extra $1 million in his bank account.
  • Green Bay cornerback Keisean Nixon gets $250,000 each if he ends up in 40, 50, and 55% of the Packers’ defensive snaps. He’s currently at 73%, with one interception on the season. If he gets a second, third, or fourth, that’s an additional $250,00 each. Both Nixon and the Packers have a ton to play for in the final week of the regular season.

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