- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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This is the time of year when you hear a lot about offseason workouts. This is when teams can begin conditioning drills and get out onto the field to start working on football and that continues through minicamps and organized team activities.
It’s a great time to build chemistry. You’ll also hear a lot of coaches bragging about how almost all their players are participating in the workouts, which is great. But, in some cases, there’s a lot of money to be earned just for showing up and working out in the offseason.
I just got a look at all the offseason workout bonuses scheduled to be earned (if the players take part in a majority of the workouts) by NFC South players this year and there were some eye openers. Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik doesn’t use a lot of workout bonuses in the contracts he negotiates. But, when he does use them, they’re significant. Tight end Kellen Winslow and cornerback Eric Wright have the largest workout bonuses in the division for 2012 at $500,000 each. Offensive tackle Donald Penn is right behind them at $400,000 and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is scheduled to collect $300,000. Linebacker Quincy Black has a $250,000 bonus and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is slated to make $200,000. Those six are the only Buccaneers with workout bonuses this year, but they come to a total of $2.15 million.
Carolina general manager Marty Hurney and New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis are much more liberal in their use of workout bonuses. The Saints and Panthers each have 21 players scheduled to earn workout bonuses this year.
Carolina’s scheduled workout bonuses add up to $2.055 million. I won’t list anyone under six figures. But here are the guys who can earn big money. Charles Johnson, Jon Beason, DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Kalil and Ron Edwards each are scheduled to make $250,000. Charles Godfrey, James Anderson, Olindo Mare and Garry Williams each can earn $100,000.
If all the New Orleans players take part in enough workouts, the Saints will have to pay out $2.381 million. Sedrick Ellis leads the Saints with a $250,000 workout bonus. Jahri Evans, Lance Moore and Scott Shanle each are scheduled to make $200,000 and Will Smith is slated to make $150,000. Marques Colston, Roman Harper, Jabari Greer, Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Vilma, Malcolm Jenkins, Devery Henderson, Pierre Thomas, David Thomas, Korey Hall and Will Herring each are scheduled to make $100,000.
Apparently, Atlanta’s Thomas Dimitroff, who probably works out more (he rides a bike religiously) than any NFC South general manager, doesn’t believe in workout bonuses. Dimitroff has used them very sparingly in the past. This year, there’s not a single Atlanta player schedule to earn a workout bonus.