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updated: 3/24/2014 11:51 PM

Bears' Mills hits jackpot in bonus pay

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  • Bears offensive right tackle Jordan Mills got a big payoff for starting all 16 games as a rookie last season.

    Bears offensive right tackle Jordan Mills got a big payoff for starting all 16 games as a rookie last season.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer


Bears offensive right tackle Jordan Mills hit the jackpot in the NFL's performance-based pay program.

The program essentially rewards players who outperform their contracts from a pool of $3.46 million allocated to each team.

Because Mills started all 16 games and had a relatively low base salary of $405,000 as a rookie, the fifth-round pick was awarded an extra $318,243.96, the most of any player in the NFL.

Nine Bears players received at least $100,000, although the money is deferred until April 1, 2016. Safety Chris Conte, a third-round pick in 2011 who also started all 16 games, was awarded an extra $210,957.33.

He was followed by cornerback Isaiah Frey ($179,411.35), cornerback Zack Bowman ($162,273.50), linebacker Jon Bostic ($143,309.22), guard Matt Slauson ($134,485.76), tight end Dante Rosario ($126,156.48), receiver Alshon Jeffery ($121,902.68) and defensive end David Bass ($111,228.98).

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was second in the league behind Mills with a $315,847.69 bonus.

He was followed by Dallas Cowboys guard Ronald Leary ($307,104.43), Carolina Panthers defensive back Melvin White ($269,714.80) and Cleveland Browns safety Teshaun Gipson ($266,299.14).

Feeling a draft:

The Bears will not receive any of the 32 compensatory draft picks the league awards to teams that suffer a net loss in free agency, based on a system that places a value on each player added and lost.

Compensatory picks are awarded from Rounds 3-7 and cannot be traded.

Last year the Bears added offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod and tight end Martellus Bennett in free agency and lost linebacker Nick Roach, guard Lance Louis, cornerback D.J. Moore and quarterback Jason Campbell.

The Bears have seven picks in this year's draft, one in each of the first five rounds, two in the sixth and none in the seventh.

They acquired the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' sixth-round pick in the trade of offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, and they dealt their seventh-round pick to the Cowboys for tight end Dante Rosario.

The first round of the draft is May 8, the second and third rounds are May 9 and Rounds 4-7 are May 10.

The last time the Bears received compensatory picks was in 2009.

They received a third-round pick, used to select wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias, and two seventh-rounders, which they used to draft guard Lance Louis and wide receiver Derek Kinder.

Money changing:

Quarterback Jay Cutler agreed to a restructuring of his contract last week that freed up $4 million this year in cap space for the team.

Cutler will transfer $5 million of next year's $22.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, lowering his salary-cap number to $18.5 million.

The converted $5 million is spread out equally through the 2018 season, adding $1 million to his salary-cap number in each of the first five seasons of his seven-year, $126 million contract.

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