Vanilla Nice pulled in the second highest bonus money amount in the NFL in 2023:

Blankenship actually made more bonus money than base salary+signing bonus in 2023. According to Spotrac, he earned $870,000 in base and $1,666 in signing, good for a cap hit of $871,666 dollars. His bonus number was $923,059 after starting and appearing in 15 total games this past season.

This isn’t an incentive thing, by the way, so it’s not like “Blankenship gets X amount of dollars for every interception.” This is part of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, which uses a formula incorporating salary and playing time to distribute almost $400 million between various players. If you’re on a cheap contract and play more, you get a larger portion of the pool. That’s why most of the guys on that list above are middle or late round draft picks, or undrafted free agents, as is Blankenship’s case.

This time last year, Marcus Epps was #1 on this chart, so the Eagles have given a ton of safety snaps to guys on low salaries. Here’s a blurb from about a year ago that explains it:

NFL players will receive $336 million in Performance-Based Pay for their performance during the 2022 season, the NFL announced today. The Performance-Based Pay program is a collectively bargained benefit that compensates all players based upon their playing time and salary levels.

Safety MARCUS EPPS, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022,earned the top amount among all NFL players for the 2022 League Year Performance-Based Pay program – $880,384 – nearly doubling his 2022 salary. Epps, a 2019 sixth-round round draft choice out of Wyoming, started all 17 games for the Eagles, playing in all but 10 of their defensive plays, as well as nearly 38 percent of the club’s special teams plays. Originally drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Epps was claimed on waivers by the Eagles mid-season of his rookie year. In 62 career games, he has recorded 192 tackles, 15 passes defensed and three interceptions. Earlier this week, Epps signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as an unrestricted free agent.

Players have been paid nearly $2 billion cumulatively since the inception of the Performance-Based Pay program, which was implemented as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, and has carried forward in the three subsequent Collective Bargaining Agreements.

EDIT – he just got an additional year as well: