Rookie offensive lineman Michael Ola was a part-time player for the Bears who was pressed into full-time work nearly every week because of injuries last season.
And it paid off.
According to numbers provided by the NFL Management Council on Friday, Ola led the Bears in performance-based pay for the 2014 season at $266,554.96.
Every team received $3.633 million for performance-based pay. It’s divided among players based on salary and overall playing time. It’s designed to reward players who play a lot but have menial contracts.
Injuries led to more playing time for Ola, the Bears’ top reserve on the line, last season. He appeared in 13 games and made 12 starts, filling in for guards Kyle Long and Matt Slauson and tackles Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills.
The top-13 Bears in 2014 for performance-based pay, per the records:
1. Ola ($266,554.96)
2. Linebacker Christian Jones ($222,364.96)
3. Mills ($204,711.83)
4. Safety Brock Vereen ($190,471.64)
5. Nickel back Demontre Hurst ($159,572.19)
6. Tight end Dante Rosario ($132,827.94)
7. Linebacker Jon Bostic ($121,400.87)
8. Defensive tackle Will Sutton ($115,691.89)
9. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery ($100,430.52)
10. Safety Ryan Mundy ($98,246.47)
11. Wide receiver Josh Morgan ($95,328.90)
12. Wide receiver Marquess Wilson ($94, 941.21)
13. Safety Danny McCray ($91,823.05)
Other notable performance-based pay includes: quarterback Jay Cutler ($6,808.79), defensive end Jared Allen ($42,613.69) and wide receiver Brandon Marshall ($10,457.62).