MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels, who brought back two punts for touchdowns in 2016 and posted a 13.9-yard punt return average, was on the verge of ending his year with a nice payday until a fateful return in San Diego cost him $100,000.
Sherels' contract calls for a $100,000 bonus if he leads the league in punt-return average (and returns at least 20 punts in a season). He finished with 21 returns and had the league lead after the Vikings finished their final game against the Chicago Bears. But later that afternoon, Kansas City's Tyreek Hill took a punt back 95 yards for a touchdown, helping him finish the year with a 15.2-yard average that bumped Sherels into second place.
The 29-year-old has the same incentive in his contract for 2017, so he'll get another crack at it next year. But he's one of two Vikings with a sad-sack story from Sunday. Defensive end Brian Robison -- who netted $200,000 for playing at least 80 percent of the Vikings' defensive snaps -- could have made another $200,000 if he'd finished with eight sacks. Robison, who entered the Vikings' final game with seven sacks, split one with Linval Joseph on Sunday and finished the season with 7 1/2.