Broncos have two of NFL’s top 25 in performance bonuses

Apr 1, 2024, 12:36 PM

The Broncos have a pair of players who were among the NFL’s leaders in performance bonuses for last season.

Edge rusher Jonathon Cooper and right guard Quinn Meinerz were the two Broncos finished in the NFL’s top 25 for money earned via the performance bonus structure. This program typically benefits players who were mid-to-late-round picks or went undrafted and played above their initial draft standings.

Without question, Cooper and Meinerz are two of the the prominent success stories of George Paton‘s up-and-down tenure as Broncos general manager. Meinerz, one of the Broncos’ two third-round picks in Paton’s first draft of 2021, has emerged as one of the league’s best guards and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2023.

Cooper, a seventh-round pick who dropped in the 2021 draft due to a heart condition, led the Broncos in sacks with a career-high total of 8.5. Cooper also had a touchdown on a fumble return during the fourth quarter of the Broncos’ 31-28 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 4.

Meinerz had a performance bonus of $747,505. Cooper’s bonus came in at $738,916.

The NFL’s leader in performance bonus pay, Baltimore guard John Simpson, cleared $974,613 from the bonus program. Simpson entered the league as a fourth-round pick in 2020.

Five of the top 25 players in performance bonus money were third-round picks, as Meinerz was.  Four broke into the league as seventh-round picks, like Cooper. The player just above Cooper on the top-25 list was San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy, who was a seventh-round choice of the 49ers in the 2022 draft.

The Broncos were one of six teams to have multiple players in the NFL’s top 25 in performance bonus pay. The others were Baltimore, Indianapolis, San Francisco, the New York Giants and Buffalo, which led the NFL with three of the top 25 performance-bonus players.


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Broncos have two of NFL’s top 25 in performance bonuses