GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here's a check the Green Bay Packers gladly wrote: The team owed more than $5 million in weekly roster bonuses during the 2019 season, and it was their highest percentage of possible payouts in any of the past five seasons.
They paid, essentially, for their good health.
The Packers enjoyed one of their healthiest seasons in years -- a factor that can't be underestimated in their 13-3 regular-season record and trip to the NFC Championship Game.
As a result, they owed 13 players $5,287,500 in weekly roster bonus money (for being on the 46-man game-day roster). The Packers have long written those bonuses into veteran contracts, and this year marked their highest percentage of payouts since at least the 2014 season. Those 13 players could have made a maximum combined $5.85 million in weekly bonuses, meaning they collected 90.1% of their possible payout.
Here's how that compared to previous years:
2018: 80% ($5.4 million of a possible $6.75 million)
2017: 74.8% ($5,981,250 of a possible $8 million)
2016: 83.4% ($6,131,250 of a possible $7.35 million)
2015: 83.3% ($6,356,875 of a possible $7.635 million)
The only two players who missed out on any bonus money this season were receiver Davante Adams, who missed four games at $31,250 per game, and left guard Lane Taylor, who missed 14 games at the same rate. That meant Adams missed out on $125,000 of a possible $500,000 because of his turf toe injury, and Taylor lost out on $437,500 because of his season-ending biceps injury in Week 2.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga cashed in the most with $700,000. The Packers put the largest weekly roster bonus ($43,750 per game active) in the $33.75 million contract extension Bulaga signed in 2015 as a way to protect themselves against his injury history.
Here's a look at how much each Packers player with a weekly roster bonus in his contract collected this past season:
Bulaga: $700,000 ($43,750 per game active)
David Bakhtiari: $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
Corey Linsley: $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
Marcedes Lewis: $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
Preston Smith: $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
Za'Darius Smith: $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
Adrian Amos: $400,000 ($25,000 per game active)
Tramon Williams: $400,000 ($25,000 per game active)
Adams: $375,000 ($31,250 per game active, missed four games)
Jimmy Graham: $300,000 ($18,750 per game active)
Billy Turner: $300,000 ($18,750 per game active)
Mason Crosby: $250,000 ($15,625 per game active)
Taylor: $62,500 ($31,250 per game active, missed 14 games)
The Packers will receive a $562,000 credit -- the unpaid bonus total -- on their 2020 salary cap.