Performance pay: Ryan leads Rams

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Defensive tackle Clifton Ryan led the Rams with $185,462 in additional pay for his efforts during the 2008 season.

The payout was part of the NFL's performance-based pay system. Under the program, those who play extensively while earning smaller salaries receive higher percentages of the more than $3.2 million set aside for each team for last season.

The chart shows the Rams' five highest earners in performance-based pay for 2008. Receiver Drew Bennett, subsequently released, earned $63 in performance pay, the smallest payout in the league.

Every player in the league who played at least one snap qualifies for the program. For example, the Patriots' Tom Brady, injured in the season opener, padded his $8 million in regular compensation with an additional $121 in performance-based pay. If you're Brady and a check for $121 arrives, do you turn to your supermodel wife and say, "Hey, let's go out for dinner tonight." Just wondering.