One of the changes of the 2011 CBA was the inclusion of a performance escaltor into the contracts of all offensive and defensive rookies selected in the 3rd through 7th rounds of the NFL draft. Many teams were already using a similar mechanism in the old CBA, but this was now mandatory for all contracts with the escalator called the “Proven Performance Escalator”.
The PPE is earned by meeting certain playtime thresholds. Any player who plays in either 35% of his teams snaps over a three year period or has two individual seasons with at least 35% playtime will earn the escalator. For the 2015 season the player’s salary will equal the salary of the lowest Restricted Free Agent tender. For this year that number will be somewhere between $1,503,000 and $1,574,000. The final number is determined when the salary cap limit is finalized by the NFL. The PPE is not guaranteed nor does it prevent a player from signing any contract extension. Kickers and punters are ineligible for the PPE.
48 players in 2015 will qualify for the PPE. At the top of that list is Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who will likely sign an extension long before the PPE would ever be paid. Other big name players to earn the PPE are Nick Foles, TY Hilton, and Alfred Morris. The Vikings should lead the way with four players, followed by the Texans with 3.
With all the recent talk about underclassman declaring for a draft to get the clock moving for a lucrative extension these numbers should be eye opening. Only 25% of those drafted in the later rounds played 35% of their teams snaps. These 25% will likely move on to a second contract. For the other 75% that failed to earn the PPE that clock may be winding down in August, if it hasnt expired already.
Here is the list of players I have earning the PPE. If you see any errors or have names to add please let me know.