Sullivan, Bowman cash in

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The two biggest beneficiaries of the NFL's performance-based pay bonuses this year were both NFC North players.

Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan received $397,555 from the program, which rewards relatively low-paid players for extended playing time. Chicago Bears cornerback Zack Bowman ranked second on the list in receiving $355,355.

For those interested, here's the NFL's verbatim explanation for how the bonuses are determined:

Performance-based pay is computed by using a "player index." To produce the index, a player's regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player's index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his pay.

Other NFC North players who received significant bumps were Green Bay guard Josh Sitton ($300,622) and Chicago safety Al Afalava ($297,450). The program won't exist for the 2010 season because of rule changes related to an uncapped year.