CINCINNATI -- When the offseason workout program begins for the Cincinnati Bengals on April 20, about a third of them will have more than $3 million in extra incentives on the line, according to contract records from ESPN Stats & Information.
Specifically, 23 Bengals will have an opportunity to make a combined $3,080,000 in the form of workout bonuses if they elect to train at Paul Brown Stadium instead of back in their hometowns or some other part of the world. Contract numbers for the newly-signed Josh Johnson aren't yet in, but if he's paid a workout bonus, the Bengals could be paying more than $3.1 million in workout-based incentives this year.
The workout program is voluntary, meaning players can elect to train elsewhere until the mandatory minicamp that begins in June. Players with workout bonuses written into their contracts, though, stand to benefit from training with their teams from that extra economic standpoint.
The Bengals haven't had problems enticing players to return and train with their teammates. In fact, the organization goes out of its way to encourage players to try to stay close to Cincinnati throughout the offseason to train and rehab. It helps the Bengals' training staff to know how recoveries are going if rehabbing players are close. Those who end up staying in the area spend their early-offseason conditioning time with the Ignition Athletic Performance Group, an area training facility where other current and future (as in draft hopeful) players train.
Domata Peko, Rey Maualuga, Mohamed Sanu and Brandon Tate are just a few of the Bengals who have been training at Ignition this offseason. On April 20, they are allowed to train under the watchful eye of the Bengals' conditioning staff.
According to ESPN Insider Field Yates, 16 NFL players could make $500,000 or more in workout bonuses this year. Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy paces the league with a workout bonus worth $1,311,600. Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and 49ers receiver Torrey Smith can earn $750,000. The remaining 13 can receive $500,000.
Here's the list of Bengals who have workout bonuses in their contracts for this season:
DE Carlos Dunlap
LB Rey Maualuga
DT Geno Atkins
QB Andy Dalton
OT Andre Smith
OG Clint Boling
LB Vincent Rey
CB Leon Hall
CB Adam Jones
RB Giovani Bernard (the first time he's been eligible for a workout bonus)
DE Margus Hunt
LB A.J. Hawk
WR Brandon Tate
DT Devon Still
DT Pat Sims
LS Clark Harris
DE Will Clarke
Notes: DE Michael Johnson isn't eligible for a workout bonus this year, but he stands to make an extra $250,000 next offseason. RB Jeremy Hill also isn't eligible for a workout bonus this year, but he could make $50,000 next year.