<
>

Jets G Brian Winters receives $1 million pay raise for 2016

Right guard Brian Winters, who replaced the injured Willie Colon and wound up starting 10 games last season for the New York Jets, will get a nice raise in 2016 -- about $1 million.

As part of the NFL's rookie wage scale, Winters' base salary (non-guaranteed) jumps to $1.696 million, the final year of his rookie contract. Previously, he was due to make $675,000.

There's a thing called the "proven performance escalator," which allows mid- to late-round draft choices to make more money if they play a lot. Specifically, a player receives the raise if he was drafted in the third through seventh rounds and participated in at least 35 percent of the offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons.

Winters, a third-round pick in 2013, easily qualified because he also started 12 games as a rookie and six in 2014.

He and fullback Tommy Bohanon are the only two current Jets from the 2013 draft who were eligible for the pay hike. Bohanon came up short. He played in 35.3 percent of the snaps in 2013, according to Football Outsiders, but he missed most of 2014 with a fractured collarbone and played only 24 percent last season. As a result, his salary stays the same -- $675,000.

Interestingly, Winters is scheduled to make more than fellow 2013 classmate Geno Smith ($1.1 million, including a roster bonus), the starting quarterback for two years. Ah, but Smith was a second-round pick, so he wasn't eligible.

Despite the raise, Winters is hardly secure in the starting lineup. He received favorable reviews from the coaching staff, but right guard is the position on the line where the Jets are most likely to upgrade.