A pair of 2020 NFL draft picks for the Kansas City Chiefs are set to receive performance-based pay increases in the final year of their rookie contracts.
Both L’Jarius Sneed and Mike Danna qualified for the league’s proven performance escalator (PPE), according to Over the Cap. What exactly does that mean? Well, when the league and NFLPA agreed to the new CBA back in 2020, they included these new performance-based incentives, which act as a fourth-year salary escalator for players who were not drafted in the first round.
There are three different levels of PPE that players can qualify for. Both Sneed and Danna qualified at “Level One”, which means their playtime percentage in their first three seasons in the NFL was enough to qualify (35% for players drafted in rounds 3-7). Instead of their original base salary, both Sneed and Danna will earn a base salary equivalent to the NFL’s Right of First Refusal (ROFR) RFA tender in 2023. This year, that specific tender amount was $2.627 million.
As a former fourth-round draft pick, Sneed was originally slated to earn a $1.168 million contract in 2023. Now, he’ll earn just over $2.9 million in 2023.
As a former fifth-round draft pick, Danna was originally slated to earn a $1.075 million contract in 2023. Now, he’ll earn just over $2.8 million in 2023.
It’s certainly not a bad pay bump for both players, who each have made a big impact over the course of the past three seasons. As for how this impacts the team’s salary cap space, these performance-based increases aren’t exactly a surprise. Teams have been planning and preparing for these possibilities since the new CBA was introduced. These numbers were already factored into the latest projections, which rank the Chiefs with the least amount of salary cap space in the NFL.
Kansas City will have to prepare itself for double the performance-based payout in 2024. A things currently stand, four players from the 2021 NFL draft class are tracking to earn those pay escalators themselves.