No one was interested in Bruce Johnson during the draft, so the Giants signed him at rock-bottom prices as a college free agent. He eventually rose through the depth chart, past Kevin Dockery, to become the Giants' nickelback as injuries thinned out the secondary.
Now it has become apparent that Johnson earned more than his salary. According to the NFLPA, Johnson was the Giants' leader in Performance-Based Pay, a mechanism that rewards the lower-paid players based on playing time. Johnson, who earned a rookie salary of $310,000, made himself an extra $270,766. Safety Michael Johnson got the second-largest bump at $235,445, and Kevin Boss was third with $221,100.
If you ask me, Boss should have received a few cents extra for combat pay, given all the punishment he took.
Terrell Thomas ($207,125) and Aaron Rouse ($193,596) were next on the list.