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Brandon Marshall leads the way for Broncos in performance-based pay

Linebacker Brandon Marshall was the only Bronco among the league's top 25 in performance-based bonuses.

After a breakthrough season in which he led the Broncos in tackles, Marshall earned a league-based bonus of $277,471, 12th-highest in the NFL.

Coincidentally, the only Bronco among the top 25 in performance-based bonuses for the previous season was weakside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who Marshall replaced in the starting lineup.

The bonus system is designed to reward players who outplay their contracts through a "player index" formula in which his total number of snaps is divided by adjusted regular-season compensation (which includes base salary, signing bonus and incentives in the player's contract).

The vast majority of players receive at least some money from the contract -- right on up to a team's highest-paid player. The average bonus for 2014 was $57,496; the median bonus was $38,583.

Buffalo offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson led the NFL with a $373,671 performance-based bonus. Henderson played every offensive snap for the Bills after joining the club as a seventh-round pick.

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