Mike Onwenu earned a base salary of $895,000 last regular season with the New England Patriots, but his play has led to nearly double that in the form of supplemental compensation.
The NFL announced its performance-based pay distributions on Friday, and the starting right guard out of Michigan is set to receive an additional $813,083 from 2022.
That figure ranked fourth around the league. It did behind Jacksonville Jaguars center Luke Fortner’s $819,686, Cincinnati Bengals guard Cordell Volson’s $854,407, as well as past Philadelphia Eagles and present Las Vegas Raiders safety Marcus Epps’ $880,384.
The performance-based pay program, which was created as part of the 2002 collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association, compares playing time on offense, defense and special teams to salary in its index. Those with higher playtime percentages and lower salaries stand as the top beneficiaries from the fund, which most recently totaled $336 million. Each of the 32 clubs’ players compete for a share of their respective pools.
Onwenu marked the lone Patriot among the league’s leading 25 this cycle.
Drafted in the sixth round at No. 182 overall back in 2020, Onwenu has appeared in 49 games throughout New England’s front line. But last campaign, the former Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie selection started all 17 games in the same place. He led the team with 1,046 offensive snaps, good for 99.43 percent, while qualifying for the fourth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all guards.
The 25-year-old now nears the final year of his rookie contract as an extension candidate.