Wednesday was a good day to be a New England Patriots guard.
Patriots right guard Shaq Mason and left guard Joe Thuney both received substantial bonuses through the NFL’s performance-based pay system, with Mason banking an extra $399,639.55 and Thuney taking home $373,108.16.
The formulas used to calculate these bonuses are a bit complicated, but the system is used to reward players with low salaries who play a high percentage of snaps. New England’s starting guards both still are on their rookie contracts, and both hardly left the field in 2017, ranking first and second on the team in offensive snaps played.
Mason, a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, made $615,000 in salary this past season and played 99.74 percent of offensive snaps. Thuney, a third-round pick in 2016, made $630,000 and played 99.56 percent.
Mason and Thuney both are under contract through the 2018 season, as is center David Andrews and right tackle Marcus Cannon. The Patriots will need to find a new left tackle, however, as Nate Solder reportedly agreed to a four-year, $62 million contract with the New York Giants on Wednesday.
Other players receiving performance-based pay included Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole and Tennessee Titans All-Pro safety Kevin Byard.