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Dwight Lowery leads Colts in performance-based pay for 2015 season

Dwight Lowery received the most in performance-based pay of any Colts player in the 2015 season.

Jim Steve-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, the NFL hands out quite a bit of money in performance-based pay to players on every team.  The idea behind the money is to compensate players in addition to their normal salary based on how much they played compared to their salary.  The number of snaps played for each player is compared to the player's contract to determine a "player index" for that player, and then the player is compared to the other players to determine just how much performance-based pay he will get.  This year, the NFL payed out $121.68 million in performance-based pay to players throughout the league.

For the Indianapolis Colts, the leader in performance-based pay for 2015 was safety Dwight Lowery, who received $230,522.63 (according to CBS4's Mike Chappell).  A 16-game starter for the Colts, Lowery played the second-most snaps of any Colts player last season.  He did so while playing on a one-year contract worth $950,000, meaning that it makes perfect sense why he'd be in line to get quite a bit of performance-based pay.  Lowery was a crucial part of the team's defense last year despite not having a big contract, and as a result he's been compensated accordingly.  He also got a decent contract from the San Diego Chargers this offseason.

A few other Colts players got significant payouts in the performance-based play program.  Rookie nose tackle David Parry, who started all 16 games, got $201,842.62.  Center Jonotthan Harrison received $208,313.59, guard Jack Mewhort received $201,844,62, and ten other players earned more than $100,000.

The money is not a part of a team's salary cap and was created particularly to aid undrafted players and lower round draft picks as an effort to fairly reward those players who exceed their contract, which is a great idea.  The player who earned the most this season was Broncos center Matt Paradis, who as a sixth-round pick in 2014 is on a small rookie contract and received $391,648 in performance-based pay.

Here's the full list of Colts players in terms of performance-based pay from the 2015 season, according to CBS4's Mike Chappell:

Player Pos. Pay
Dwight Lowery S $230,522.63
David Parry NT $210,842.62
Jonotthan Harrison C $208,313.59
Jack Mewhort G $201,844.62
Donte Moncrief WR $184,540.74
Hugh Thornton G $164,576.76
Jack Doyle TE $156,974.52
Clayton Geathers S $140,338.50
Jonathan Newsome LB $134,075.28
Henry Anderson DL $116,686.85
Zach Kerr NT $113,617.50
T.Y. McGill DT $108,635.39
Josh McNary LB $105,489.38
Colt Anderson S $103,237.65
Khaled Holmes C $99,338.89
Denzelle Good T $92,299.01
Griff Whalen WR $79,209.53
Jalil Brown CB $73,711.83
Zurlon Tipton RB $69,774.64
Coby Fleener TE $61,169.27
Sio Moore LB $59,875.68
Dwayne Allen TE $47,463.51
Winston Guy S $46,172.06
Mike Adams S $45,266.99
Jerrell Freeman LB $44,569.77
Joe Reitz T $43,973.31
Billy Winn DT $43,355.32
T.Y. Hilton WR $42,009.58
Lance Louis G $38,859.94
Ahmad Bradshaw RB $38,394.88
Darius Butler CB $33,583.04
Josh Thomas CB $32,275.39
Kendall Langford DE $30,181.92
Quan Bray WR $30,047.08
Tyler Varga RB $28,301.53
D'Qwell Jackson LB $28,133.74
Earl Okine DE $27,453.29
Erik Walden OLB $25,739.56
Boom Herron RB $25,634.88
Sheldon Price CB $25,559.96
Phillip Dorsett WR $22,104.62
D'Joun Smith CB $21,812.11
Frank Gore RB $21,687.79
Matt Hasselbeck QB $21,616.10
Nate Irving LB $20,259.55
Josh Robinson RB $19,105.60
Anthony Castonzo T $18,716.95
Daniel Adongo LB $18,605.26
Amarlo Herrera LB $17,771.08
Matt Overton LS $16,769.85
Greg Toler CB $16,688.60
Bjoern Werner LB $16,610.52
Andre Johnson WR $13,391.03
Akeem Davis S $13,353.88
Vontae Davis CB $12,918.00
Todd Herremans G $12,626.11
Trent Cole LB $12,457.58
Eric Patterson CB $11,822.09
Andy Studebaker LB $11,662.33
Josh Freeman QB $11,448.99
Pat McAfee P $11,114.08
Andrew Luck QB $10,177.49
Dewey McDonald S $9,707.09
Charlie Whitehurst QB $9,240.29
Tony Carter CB $7,649.08
Robert Mathis LB $7,244.38
Erik Swoope TE $6,777.74
Tay Glover-Wright CB $6,390.32
Adam Vinatieri K $3,302.09
Shaun Prater CB $3,088.65
Ryan Lindley QB $2,369.30
Trey Williams RB $1,960.80