Ola tops Bears' share of NFL bonus pool

The Bears signed offensive lineman Michael Ola as a free agent last May for the league minimum of $420,000 after he was cut by the Miami Dolphins.

That turned out to be an incredible bargain for the Bears, as the Canadian Football League refugee started 12 games, including at least one at every offensive line position except center.

Ola's salary is peanuts compared to a lot of his teammates, but he was the Bears' big winner in performance-based bonuses, collecting an additional $266,554.

Performance-based bonuses are a provision of the 2002 NFL collective bargaining agreement. That pool of money is divided among all players based on playing time and salary. Those with the lowest salary and greatest amount of playing time get the biggest rewards.

The Bears' runner-up last season was undrafted linebacker Christian Jones, who picked up an extra $222,364 after starting at least one game at each of the three linebacker spots and five games total. Jones, like Ola, also played for the rookie minimum last season.

For the second straight year, right tackle Jordan Mills cashed in big, collecting an extra $204,711 after starting 13 games. Mills, a fifth-round pick in 2013, had a base salary of $495,000 last season.

After his rookie season, Mills got a bonus check of $318,243, the highest ever at that time. His 2013 salary was $405,000, which was the rookie minimum that year, when he started all 16 games for the Bears.

2014 performance-based bonuses for Bears players

Michael Ola $266,554

Christian Jones: $222,364

Jordan Mills $204,711

Brock Vereen $190,471

Demontre Hurst $159,572

Dante Rosario $132,827

Jon Bostic $121,400

Will Sutton $115,691

Alshon Jeffery $100,430

Ryan Mundy $98,246

Josh Morgan $95,328

Marquess Wilson $94,941

Danny McCray $91,823

Stephen Paea $87,243

Brian de la Puente $82,180

Senorise Perry $80,482

Kyle Fuller $72,560

Kyle Long $72,222

Ryan Groy $70,481

Roberto Garza $68,148

Santonio Holmes $61,819

Cornelius Washington $57,871

Ego Ferguson $56,377

Sherrick McManis $51,873

Al Louis-Jean $50,349

Khaseem Greene $48,556

Chris Conte $43,574

Jared Allen $42,613

Jeremiah Ratliff $42,501

DeDe Lattimore $41,756

David Bass $40,668

D.J. Williams $39,660

Pat O'Donnell $37,581

Willie Young $36,399

Isaiah Frey $32,272

Shea McClellin $29,359

Jeremy Cain $29,199

Darryl Sharpton $28,068

Tim Jennings $27,520

Ka'Deem Carey $26,453

Trevor Scott $25,328

Eben Britton $25,186

Martellus Bennett $21,624

Teddy Williams $21,199

Ahmad Dixon $20,014

Brandon Dunn $19,333

Chris Williams $18,941

Jimmy Clausen $17,922

Jermon Bushrod $17,170

Matt Forte $16,031

Anthony Walters $13,653

Matt Slauson $13,109

Marc Mariani $13,002

Blake Annen $12,383

Josh Bellamy $11,746

Lamarr Houston $11,518

Brandon Marshall $10,457

Charles Leno $10,242

Lance Briggs $10,083

Terrell Manning $8,295

Shaun Draughn $8,134

Matthew Mulligan $8,132

Montell Owens $7,451

Rashad Ross $7,120

Jay Cutler $6,808

Jay Feely $5,474

Micheal Spurlock $5,461

Charles Tillman $5,160

Robbie Gould $4,700

Taylor Boggs $3,376

Tony Fiammetta $1,767

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Michael Ola, who was released by Miami, started 12 games for the Bears last season. Associated Press
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