How do incentives work in the NFL in respect to salary cap? For example last season, if Nick Foles played 3 more snaps against the Redskins, he would have received $1,000,000 based on total plays that season.

However, how do those contract incentives work? Do they count toward the salary cap? I assume they would have to, as you could simply play a player $1, then give them easily reachable bonuses and incentives.

1 Answer 1


NFL incentive bonuses are split into two categories, likely to be earned (LTBE) and other. Likely to be earned is based on previous years and count immediately towards the cap, so if you have a 100K 10 sack bonus, if you had 10 sacks last year, the team is charged 100K on their cap for the bonus. If you don't achieve a LTBE bonus, the team gets a credit for next year. Any other bonus get applied at the end of the year and overages get deducted from next year's cap.

You can find more explanations here: https://overthecap.com/a-guide-to-the-nfl-salary-cap/

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